Salvation army sorry for ignoring child privacy

The Salvation Army ignored the privacy-rights of court-protected, vulnerable children in their eagerness to provide publicity for donor to  Linden Firlands Children’s Home

LINDEN, Johannesburg. 29 September 2011. We have blotted out the faces of the clearly-identifiable court-protected children who appeared in a publicity-article about the donation a Salvation Army-run children’s home of a new vehicle, and a number of beds and electric fencing this week. We have also objected on the newspaper’s own website to their publishing the picture which show these very vulnerable children without any attempt at hiding their faces; and also to the Salvation Army to ask them to review their policies in their use of pictures of vulnerable children in their fund-raising efforts.

The home’s principal, major Eddie de Vos, responded immediately – saying that it was ‘not their  usual policy to include the children in photos and in the rush of events we had omitted to inform the reporter to block out faces.I have contacted the reporter and asked them to amend this. “

Rosebank Rotary Club president Jean Bernardo told the newspaper that he managed to find the donations from Pareto Limited which co-owns several retail complexes in the country including Cresta. “We approached Pareto earlier this year to make donations to charities that would be part of their corporate social investment projects.”

CHILDREN PRIVACY RIGHTS IGNORED LINDEN CHILDREN HOME DONATION SEPT 2011 UNIDENTIFIED FACESPareto CEO Reanne van der Merwe said, “Choosing Firlands, we could focus on what’s important to us…The wellbeing and safety of children.” Safety was an important aspect to the company as they donated an electric fence to the home following a break-in that resulted in one of the children being confronted and threatened in May.”We have already started working with the Alexandra-based organisation Mama Earth and want to extend our reach and work with more charities,” he said.Majors Eddie and Hazel de Vos run the home at 21 11th Street, Linden that caters for children who have been placed there by courts and social work departments. It is one of three children’s homes run by the Salvation Army in Johannesburg and cares for about 45 children.”My wife and I have been running the home for four years now,” said Eddie de Vos. “Financial challenges, maintenance and daily routines are things we face every day.” De Vos said they were grateful to Pareto as the kinds of donations they’ve made are not possible through ordinary funding.Donations from residents in the form of money and clothing are welcome.Details: Eddie 011-782-5556/7, salarmy@sai.co.za

, www.firlandschildrenshome.org.za.

— The original picture with the children’s identifiable faces is/was located at:

http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/randburg/randburg-news-general?oid=4730561&sn=Detail&pid=217563&Donations-for-Linden-children-s-home

— However – we do hope that the newspaper will soon correct this error by changing the picture to protect the children’s identity. The safety of the children is much more important than any free publicity for a business.

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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