Puppets teach children to recognize signs of abuse

The most recent survey carried out on child sex abuse in South African revealed 35.4% of the young people interviewed in schools had been sexually abused at some point in their lives.*

The worrying statistics reveal just how prevalent cases of child molestation are in the country.

For the last few years, Lawrence 'Lonny' Mongalo has been using puppets as a way of teaching primary school children how to recognise and report abuse.

I was working as a volunteer telephone counsellor for ChildLine Free State I started to wonder if what was happening to them was abuse. How many more children out there are facing abuse and don't know what is happening to them?

Lawrence 'Lonny' Mongalo, Puppeteer

Lawrence came up with the idea of using puppets as a way to communicate with young children.

I was tired of children having to sit through an assembly with a guest speaker talking to them in language that wasn't very interesting to them.

Lawrence 'Lonny' Mongalo, Puppeteer

Since 2014, Lawrence and his Ubuntu Puppets have been entertaining and informing children across the country.

Lawrence makes his own puppets and charges a nominal amount for his services.

Sara-Jayne King meets the man behind Ubuntu Puppets, take a listen:

*The 2015 Optimus Study was conducted by the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention and UCT's Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Puppets teach children to recognize signs of abuse


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