UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Lily Singh, travelled to South Africa to support UNICEF'S mission to help end violence in schools. During her visit, Singh was exposed to a group of students who were personally affected by violence. She created an open atmosphere, where students felt comfort in discussing their personal stories.
Singh shares, "I met with children and young people who have experienced a range of violence, from bullying and physical attacks to corporal punishment, sexual assault and harassment. “No child should have to face violence at school, a place where they should feel safe and protected."Singh's support was important as young people in South Africa experience sexual violence and bullying at schools more often than you think. On average, half of grade 8 students are affected by bullying on a monthly basis; for boys 1 in 3 said the most recent incident occurred at school. This visit was the first of many #ENDviolence Youth Talks, whereby there will be student-led discussions happening all around the world. These discussions will drive the importance of being able to share personal stories, in order to encourage safety at school.
As well, Singh visited children at a Safe Park in Soweto. These safe parks are places for children from underprivileged backgrounds who are at risk for violence, abuse, neglect and poverty. Safe parks give the opportunity for children to engage in activities, get educational support and counseling. Singh was fortunate to take part in such a welcoming community that gives back to those who need it.
UNICEF's goal to end violence is quite inspiring, as it enables children to feel comfortable sharing their own personal stories. This campaign will hopefully shed light on this issue, and empower people to become more vocal. The hashtag, #ENDviolence needs to go viral,so share this hashtag to start making a real difference in the world.