In Southern Africa, Adventists Stand Against Child Abuse
Leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division(SID) have reaffirmed their position against child abuse. Busi Khumalo, SID youth ministries director, added to the discussion. “We have to implement stringent screening processes before appointing employees or volunteers who work with children. We should never fail in taking proper precautions.”
During 2012 year-end meetings the church took a vote to strengthen the position of the church and send a clear message that Seventh-day Adventists will not tolerate child abuse, and will not “protect” those who are guilty.
Goodwell Nthani, SID chief financial officer, said, “We should not maintain secrecy when we should speak out. Child abuse should never be taken lightly.”
Women’s ministries director Caroline Chola declared, “We have to change our attitude, accept that abuse is real, and do something about it. We have voted; but it is time for action.”
Chola also highlighted enditnow, a global campaign to raise awareness and advocate for the end of violence against women and girls around the world. This campaign is a partnership between the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)—a humanitarian organization—and the Department of Women’s Ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
In bringing the discussion to a close, SID president Paul Ratsara said, “We have to be the voice of the voiceless. We, as leaders, must bring change.”