Thursday, January 12, 2006

Cape Town's children worry about fire

Hundreds of Capetonians face 2006 homeless following fires in the Masiphumelele neighbourhood in the South Peninsula last week. Among them, undoubtedly, are schoolchildren who may now enter their new classes without uniforms, books and possibly without even school fees, let alone somewhere to study and sleep and eat.

And it's very likely that among the homeless are the very children and teenagers who told University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers that fire was one of their worst nightmares.

"Worrying about fires is one of the main issues highlighted by children and teenagers in our study in 2005," says Dr Rachel Bray, of the Centre for Social Science Research at UCT. "They know that people die. And they know that services find it difficult to come in time because the nearest fire station is in Fish Hoek, several kilometres down the road." M&G

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