In the light of the ever growing use and popularity of the internet, and an increase in popularity of online communication, particularly by adolescents, Childline South Africa is keeping up with the times, and meeting young South Africans where they are – online. Childline South Africa therefore began a pilot project of online counselling in May 2009 in partnership with MXit as the online service provider.
Online counselling as a service offered to youth in particular, is already in place and successful in several other countries.
Childline South Africa went live on MXit on the 25th May 2009. Online Counselling and assistance is offered nationally Monday – Saturday, from 2pm – 6pm. The Online counselling service is available to South African youth under the age of 21 years, who are registered on MXit, as well as to adults with concerns about children.
Online counsellors are Durban based and operate from the Childline South Africa National office. The service works closely with all Childline provincial offices, to which children and youth requiring face to face services are referred.
The aim of the online counseling service at Childline National Office is to explore and utilize all forms of electronic communication open to children, youth and adults with concerns about children in order to:
- provide counselling and information services and
- contribute to the overall well-being of children, youth and caregivers of children,
- ensure the inclusion of children and youth with disabilities, particularly the hearing impaired.
This service is available to everyone
Online Counselling is a national service. These chat rooms are manned by Childline trained volunteer counsellors who work on a rotation of shifts. There are currently 25 counsellors on the team. Childline has recruited and trained five groups of volunteer counsellors and is always looking to recruit and train further volunteer counsellors as they are the backbone of this service.
How to access our chatrooms on mXit
- Once you have downloaded MXit from www.mxit.co.za/wap you then need to register, again follow very simple prompts.
- Then Login and you are ready to use the many applications available to MXit users. These can all be found under ‘Tradepost’.
- When you are in the Tradepost, go to Mxit Reach -> Counselling -> Childline and the Childline application will be added to your list of contacts
- From here on simple follow the prompts and you will be on your way to chatting with a counsellor in any of the 4 available chatrooms
- Log on to MXit here
Would you like to volunteer?
Are you interested in a volunteer counsellor for the Online Counselling Project?
Download our application form and a basic information letter to help you get started and understand some of our basic requirements.
NB: Volunteers for Online Counselling Project have to be Durban based.