All I want is to be respectable!

Today we celebrate World Children’s Day. SCOUTS South Africa strives to better the lives of children by providing programmes that aid in their development and in the achievement of their full potential. Article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child states that education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.

To be respected and to respect others is a character trait that ten year old Lwango Msengana feels she has acquired through Cubbing at Thembani Primary School. Lwango lives with her mom, aunt and two siblings near the school in the township of Langa in the Western Cape.

“I love every minute of it!” shouts Lwango when asked about Cubbing in school. “All I want in life is to be respectable. It means everything to me. In my community people fight and have no respect. In Cubbing we learn to respect each other, to love each other and to be friends. My friends in Cubs are like my brothers and sisters because we have respect for one another”, she says with a huge grin.

“In the beginning my family forced me to join because they knew that Scouting is a good thing. Now, I want to come and I enjoy it very much. My teacher also tells me that since I became a Cub I am more respectful. She is very happy with me and my schoolwork is also much better. In Cubs, Akela reads us stories and teaches us new things. Sometimes we learn things in Cubs before we read it in class and that helps me  to understand things better. Like when we learnt about planets”, she explains.

“When I grow up I want to be an actress and a make-up artist like my auntie. I look up to her and want to be like her. She is a good person. In Cubs we play games and learn new things but we also talk about the Cub Laws. We promise to do our best and to do a good turn. Not only in Cubs, but also when we go home. Akela makes us write down how we help other people. When we come back to the Cub meeting we must tell her all about it. I often help my granny with plastics from the shop and I helped my auntie with a project. She had to make a big “A” and I painted it for her. My family are very proud of me and that makes me feel good! When my little sister grows up, I will force her to come too!”

Find the UNICEF SA child friendly version of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child here.

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