At Community Keepers we welcome the ‘disruptive child’; the ‘difficult teenager’; the learner who is withdrawn, anxious or angry; and those who appear to cope but are masking, to keep the peace. These are the learners who need us most.

The 2030 Agenda urges us all to “leave no one behind” and “endeavour to reach the furthest behind first”.

“Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel the full range of emotions and experiences. It does not discriminate and it is pervasive throughout the world.

Effects of trauma can include a variety of responses, such as intense and ongoing emotional upset, anxiety, depression, behavioral changes, difficulties with self-regulation, problems relating to others or forming attachments, regression or loss of previously acquired skills, attention and academic difficulties, nightmares, difficulty sleeping and eating, and physical symptoms, such as aches and pains. Older children may use drugs or alcohol, behave in risky ways, or engage in unhealthy sexual activity.

Traumatic stress impacts mental health and well-being. Adult survivors of traumatic events may also have difficulty in establishing fulfilling relationships and maintaining employment.” National Child Traumatic Stress Network


“Mental health education should start early in school, we need to get our young people talking about it. We need to invest in NGOs who are already working on the ground and there are so many across our provinces and South Africa. We need to change the way we talk about mental health.”  Cassey Chambers, SADAG


“Most violent behaviour is learned or tolerated in the home, communities and schools where children either directly experience or witness violence.” The Institute for Security Studies


“The damage caused by abuse of children has a long-term impact so we must try harder to stop it. This is not just a policing problem, it is a societal issue, that requires a response from health, social development and education.” Lucy Jamieson, Senior researcher at the UCT Children’s Institute


“…they are losing the battle to curb the violence against children and this will have a severely detrimental effect on our future adults who will inevitably, be suffering from severe mental illnesses due to perpetual stresses and trauma.”  Tony Lawrence of the Child Protection Collaborative


“It is worrying that children are becoming perpetrators, this reflects the nature of the violent society we live in.  If we don’t act now to correct this, then the circle of violence will continue for generations to come.  We need to deal with the issue of violence in our society holistically from the home setting to the school setting.”  Litlhare Radebe, Save the Children SA advocacy manager


“We are concerned about the unacceptably high severity of child abuse and neglect. Children are left alone unattended by parents who are addicted to alcohol and drugs. This is while threats and risk of sexual abuse is more prevalent at home now more than on the streets.”  Sharna Fernandez, Social Development MEC