Eswatini Daily News

By Khulile Thwala

Some members of the House of Senate in Eswatini have argued that children under residential care lack cultural orientation which makes it challenging to be integrated into society.

This was during a Senate sitting debate on The Children’s Protection and Welfare (Approved Residential Care Facilities) Regulations, 2022. A motion without notice on the regulations had been moved by Senator Prince Mshengu to debate and adopt the regulations.

Senators highlighted that re-entry as a functioning adult into society was quite difficult for children who had spent their entire lives in residential care.

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“There are no evident traditional structures to teach these children ethnic values and cultural traits in order for them to be respectful and dignified in the public domain. You find that some of these children are housed under international organisations that teach them modern principles and they tend to lose their Swati heritage,” asserted the senators.

MPs in Parliament. Picture: Khulile Thwala.

Senator Mkhululi Dlamini argued that as a requirement of establishment, residential facilities ought to have an element of ensuring the children under care do not lose their cultural values.

It was further added that there needed to be constant communication between the residential facility management and the communities the children come from to ensure they do not lose touch with their backgrounds.

Read More: ‘250 children at home due to unpaid 2020/21 fees’

This was said to become an issue in the later stages of the children’s lives as when they return to their paternal homes they find that their land has been occupied or used.

In response, Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku said the regulations were necessary to cement relationships with the residential facilities as most of them are funded by non-governmental organisations.

“We need not over-regulate the child care facilities as most of these NGOs are voluntarily assisting from their own pockets, and over-regulation will make them back down from doing so,” he said.

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