In 2004, the University of Pretoria was contracted by the United Nations' Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Limpopo Department of Education (LDoE) to conduct research in Limpopo, South Africa, examining issues related to safety and threats for learners at the foundational (Grade R-3), intermediate (Grade 4-7) and senior (Grade 8-12) phases. The purpose of the research was to provide baseline data and potential strategies for longer term school-based and community-based programmes to develop Child Friendly Schools (CFS) and Schools as Centres for Care and Support in Limpopo. The study further aimed to highlight the environmental (school, family and community) and individual risk factors that threaten healthy development of the individual, and the protective factors perceived to be essential in supporting and building resilience. In examining the risk and protective factors in the environment, the research endeavoured to promote healthy development of learners; through the identification of risk and protective factors; the protective factors could be focused for learners while at the same time the environmental and individual risk factors could be examined and mitigated against. Three districts in the province - Bohlabela, Sekhukhune and Vhembe - were selected as research sites by the LDoE based on data related to poverty, location, and number of learners. Schools were selected within the districts to participate.
University of Pretoria
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