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Philippines : Co-operative Governance on implementation of Initiation Monitoring and Intervention Strategy.

It is all systems go for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in the implementation of its Initiation Monitoring and Intervention Strategy (IMIS) for zero deaths during the current summer initiation season. The strategy is implemented in partnership with key stakeholders including traditional leaders, the department of Health, District, local and Metropolitan municipalities and South African Police Services (SAPS).

The season was preceded by various stakeholder and community awareness campaigns including door to door campaign in tarvens, taxi ranks and clinics in Ilinge township, Lukhanji Municipal area. Community meetings were also organised in the Nyandeni Municipal area targeting villages in Libode, Ngqeleni and Port St Johns.

Cogta also hosted a Community Dialogue in Mount Ayliff in partnership with Alfred Nzo District Municipality, the Provincial office of the Government, Communication and Information Services (GCIS), National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), SAPS and Isolezwe lesiXhosa newspaper.

Commenting on the state of readiness for the season Cogta MEC Fikile Xasa said, The IMIS is a response to many challenges facing the custom and seeks to ensure the safe passage of our children to manhood. Our main focus is on visitations to initiation schools to ensure that initiates get water, are not abused and that the schools are legal. Any form of illegal activities will not be tolerated hence the police are on high alert and part of our teams. We are ready and for us it is back to basics to save lives. Our teams are on the ground already conducting monitoring visits, said MEC Xasa.

He added that the strategy is meant to restore the dignity and reverence of the custom. For the 2015 summer season, Traditional Initiation Centres will be piloted in the OR Tambo District with a focus in Libode (Makhotyana Administrative Area, Bhukwini and Zungu), Tsolo (Emdibanisweni), Ngqeleni (Mamolweni), Port St Johns (Entsimbini) and in Lusikisiki (Parlmarton). Monitoring teams have already descended to these area.

The Chairperson of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders (ECHTL) Nkosi Ngangomhlaba Matanzima said awareness campaigns were empowering both to communities, traditional leaders and officials to adopt best practices to stop abuse and deaths in the current summer season and beyond.

We appeal to parents and traditional leaders to work collectively to save lives through regular monitoring visits to the schools. Government alone cannot succeed without the full support and active participation of community leaders, said Nkosi Matanzima.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Dec 4, 2015
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