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KlevaKidz paraffin safety campaign launched

IS it Batman? Is it The Green Lantern? Is it Spiderman? No! It is Mr Wise – all dressed in blue and ready to protect young school learners.

The annual Engen KlevaKidz promotion, an educational campaign that uses industrial theatre to engage and educate young learners across South Africa about the importance of paraffin safety, was recently launched in the Eastern Cape at Nkululeko Primary School in Mdantsane.

With Mr Wise, a superhero safety educator, at the forefront, they furthermore visited 15 schools in Komani and Aliwal North. The campaign, which has already visited schools in Limpopo, North West and the Free State, will conclude in the Western Cape later this month.

Engen KlevaKidz takes the form of an interactive educational stage drama, using engaging characters to relay key safety messages in the learners’ mother tongue – including Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa and English – combined with catchy jingles to reinforce the theme.

Mr Wise educates learners on how to identify and use paraffin safely, with interacting with “learners” Bongi and Junior.

Stories are furthermore used to explain what to do if paraffin is ingested or inhaled, while special focus is also placed on the importance of the safe storage of paraffin and the necessity of washing one’s hands after contact with paraffin.

Engen’s head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement, Unathi Magida, says, “Young children in underresourced households are often the primary daytime care givers, often looking after their siblings while their parents or guardians are at work.

“Without supervision, and uninformed of the multiple dangers associated with using paraffin, children between the ages of seven and 13 are often vulnerable – it is these children who are the focus of Engen KlevaKidz.

“The aim is to provide them with the tools and know-how to deal with paraffin emergencies, storage and handling,” said Magida.

Since its inception in 2008, Engen KlevaKidz has reached more than 280 000 learners in 700 schools across South Africa – from rural villages deep in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape to townships in Gauteng, the Western Cape and Free State.

“Engen KlevaKidz has proven to be a powerful medium to stimulate children’s imagination. The takeout messages are explored in pre- and post-behavioural assessment questionnaires illustrating the retention achieved through theatre,” said Magida.

“As a leading provider of petroleum products in South Africa, we are committed to contribute to the livelihoods and the safety of people.”

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