Children rights theme for 2014 Santam Child Art competition extends UNICEF partnership

Corporate News

Children rights theme for 2014 Santam Child Art competition extends UNICEF partnership

Published: 03 February 2013

Santam and UNICEF have enhanced their existing partnership by announcing 'children's rights' as the theme for the 2014 Santam Child Art competition.

2014 also marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), which is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. This significant anniversary will be recognised globally and spotlight the progress and remaining challenges of child rights fulfilment across the world. South Africa is one of 193 nations to have ratified the Convention.

Santam, UNICEF and the Department of Basic Education in Mpumalanga started their relationship last year when they entered a R5.2 million, three-year (2013-2015) partnership to support the rollout of the Safe and Caring Child-Friendly Schools (SCCFS) model in Mpumalanga. The total investment aims to develop school districts of excellence that can support the improved functioning of 175 of the poorest schools in Mpumalanga. Other core elements of the programme include developing capacity at a school leadership level to manage social, environmental and governance issues and setting up after-school extra-mural and recreational activities.

Preliminary evidence indicates a significant improvement of learner's marks during 2013 exams and in another remarkable development, grade 11 learners who have been trained at learner receptiveness skill workshops are now training learners in lower grades as part of a self-initiated peer education programme, based on the principles of the Girls and Boys Education Movement.

Tersia Mdunge, CSI manager, says she is excited about the extension of the partnership with UNICEF and confident that it will take its flagship Corporate Social Investment project - Child Art to greater heights.

"We were happy to have celebrated the 50th anniversary of Santam Child Art last year and the competition drew 4 773 entries from 221 schools in 2013. The winning 13 entries are featured in the 2014 calendar.

"From humble beginnings as an art competition, Child Art has evolved into a multifaceted national project. Since its inception in 1963 more than 85 000 children have participated in the project so far. Santam Child Art now includes initiatives such as informal art classes, a national art competition, Santam's own annual art calendar and the training of creative art teachers (Grade 4-6) nationally."

Tersia continues that the Santam Child Art project is aimed at promoting a love of art amongst our youth, hopefully inspiring children to step into the great tradition of artists from this country. "It also provides learners with a new set of skills for self-expression and communication. Art has the ability to cross cultural and linguistic barriers, and in South Africa it gives us the tools to be able to find and speak to each other."

The 'children's rights' theme and competition entry details will be shared with schools and art schools across South Africa in February. The closing date for entries is 30 June 2014.