A helpline for vulnerable children in Centurion is giving bullied children a voice.
Launched late last month, the Centurion Child Protection Hotline helps children and their parents contact the authorities swiftly.
The hotline was launched by Toys for Africa with authorities including the police and security companies as a way for bullied and abused children to make their voices heard.
Toys for Africa founder Danie van Loggerenberg said parents and children should save the number 071 192 0569 to their phones.
“We have already received some good feedback since the launch in September,” said Van Loggerenberg.
“We want to see children using the helpline especially if they are being bullied at school or even being abused,” he said.
“Some might even be uncertain if what they are experiencing is indeed abuse. That is where the helpline comes in.”
Van Loggerenberg said many were attempting to call the number, which was only accessible by SMS and WhatsApp “for now”.
“All you need to do is send a full stop ‘.’ and your details will be passed on to the authorities,” he said.
“Ideally, this would only be an option for emergencies such as when an intruder is in your home.”
Van Loggerenberg urged anyone who is being bullied to send the word ‘Help’.
“This will prompt the system to forward a few questions to you including requesting your name and surname as well as your address and what kind of assistance you need.
“You can also send your location via WhatsApp.”
The helpline will also put children into contact with a number of services including emergency services, schools, social workers from all the relevant organisations and later also doctors and psychologists.