The Thari Programme hosted its first biennial conference on 6 September, funded by the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation. The Conference aimed at addressing the prevalence of violence against children and women in our schools and communities was held under the theme, Bridging the Gap: A need for a multi-sectoral approach towards the protection of women and children against violence in our schools and communities.
The Thari Programme is a school-based pilot programme that aims to strengthen the school community by creating a safe and empowering environment that is free from violence; academically effective, inclusive, gender-sensitive, and promotes the health and well-being of all. The conference was hosted in partnership with the Free State Department of Education, the line-up included a number of speakers, such as Mmabatho Maboya, CEO of Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, and Adv T Malakoane, HOD of the Free State Department of Education.
Discussions at the conference focused on the social challenges that women and children in South Africa face, psychosocial support services for learners, the role of childcare and youth support workers, and the growth of Thari and the learnings that it offers. The Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation Chief Executive Officer Mmabatho Maboya said the programme aims to make schools a safe place for learning by working with various stakeholders and communities to better the lives of learners. The Head of the Department of Education in the Free State Tsoarelo Malakoane applauded the programme and the changes it has made in stabilising Botshabelo schools. Further to this gaps and solutions were identified on the day through three commissions. The day concluded with the Foundation agreeing to ensure the implementation of the tabled solutions and to hold all stakeholders accountable to implementing what was discussed and agreed upon.