Paraffin, one of the main sources of fuel for cooking and heating used by disadvantaged people, is to blame for many disasters, such as children drinking it and fires caused by paraffin stoves.
Engen KlevaKidz educates rural and township communities about safe handling and storage of paraffin. A national campaign running from 31 August to 11 September is a mobile educational stage drama that is travelling through Mpumalanga.
Over the duration of the campaign, it will visit 20 schools in disadvantaged communities, where household use of paraffin is widespread and paraffin-related accidents are common. These include Hammanskraal, Pankop, Phake Rebone Village and Mmametlhake.
Launched in 2008, Engen KlevaKidz has reached 139 643 learners in 391 schools. This year, the campaign is visiting 100 new schools across the country.
“As the name suggests, the KlevaKidz campaign delivers its empowering safety message through edutainment, including what to do in an emergency,” said Tasneem Sulaiman-Bray, Engen’s general manager for corporate affairs.
Engen commissioned research in 2011 on the awareness of children before and after seeing Engen KlevaKidz. It found that awareness improved from 24% to 90% and changed the behaviour of more than 80% of participants.
“It is heartening to see such an important message becoming so entrenched,” she added.
BEWARE THE DANGERS OF PARAFFIN
Engen KlevaKidz uses a television quiz show format as a vehicle for relaying the message, which is combined with a catchy jingle – a useful vehicle to help children remember important messages.
Through this format it raises awareness of the dangers associated with handling and storing paraffin and how to prevent accidents.
“Over the years of Engen’s involvement in paraffin safety we have become aware that children aged eight to 13 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,” said Mntu Nduvane, Engen’s corporate social investment manager.
“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.”