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.
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.”
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.