First aid

Updated 01 November 2013

Engen’s paraffin safety campaign empowers children

The Engen’s KlevaKidz campaign, which educates rural and township communities about safe handling and storage of paraffin, continues to grow.


The Engen’s KlevaKidz campaign, which educates rural and township communities about safe handling and storage of paraffin, continues to grow at a significant rate.

The initiative was launched five years ago and over the last three years has reached more than 79 000 learners in 190 schools located in areas where the household use of paraffin is widespread and paraffin-related accidents are common. “In the next three years the campaign is set to reach 90 000 learners aged 9-13 years in 300 schools,” says Khanyisa Balfour, Engen's Group CSI Manager.

This year’s KlevaKidz campaign kicked off in Soshanguve in Gauteng on 23 July followed by, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, and Eastern Cape and will end in Cape Town in October 2013. Every year twenty schools in a new district in each province will be targeted.

Targeting children

As the name suggests the KlevaKidz e campaign delivers an empowering message through edutainment about safe handling and storage of paraffin and what to do during in an emergency. It is aimed at children aged between nine and 13 years old.

“Over the years of involvement we have become aware that children of this age are often the primary daytime caregivers of their younger brothers and sisters. It is with this in mind that we target them with the message of safety,” says Balfour.

“We are also happy that this campaign supports the Life Orientation curriculum of the Department of Basic Education. All learners also receive a funnel, a pencil case and an edu-comic reader, as well as posters for their schools to complement the campaign.”

“Paraffin-related poisoning, fires and burns tragically affect people living in informal settlements,” comments Elaine Williams: Publisher, Oxford University Press Southern Africa. “Young children are often worst affected. This is one reason that our Foundation Phase Life Skills textbooks have a focus on safety in the home. This campaign supports what the Department and our books try to do – improve education around safety for those forced to live in overcrowded and poorly ventilated homes.”

Powerful medium

The KlevaKidz production is an interactive educational stage drama that raises awareness and empowers children on the dangers associated with handling and storing paraffin and how to prevent accidents from taking place. The production uses a television quiz show environment as a vehicle for relaying the empowering message, which is combined with a jingle. “We have found edutainment to be a powerful medium to stimulate children’s imagination. What is even more rewarding is to hear children of four years old still singing the paraffin safety jingle afterwards, says Balfour.

Research commissioned by Engen in 2011, which benchmarked the before and after the first KlevaKidz campaign illustrated that awareness improved from 24% to 90% and changed the behaviour of more than 80% of participants.


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