The quest for a unified stand towards building and strengthening families in this digital age
The department is committed to delivering effective and efficient services and programmes that promote functionality and prevent vulnerabilities in families. In delivering these services, the department engages in partnerships with its stakeholders, government departments and agencies as a way of reaching a consensus and adopting a common position towards strengthening families.
The department together with various experts, Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders had on Saturday 22 May 2020 convened a family day programme in commemoration of the International Family Day.
Observed under the theme; “Families and New Technologies”, the International Day of families is celebrated annually as marked by the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution (A/RES/47/237) that 15 May of every year should be observed as the International Day of Families.
This day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families and also raise awareness among policymakers on issues and needs of families, and how such needs can be fulfilled.
The 2021 observance of this Day focused on the impacts of new technologies on families and their well-being. It was aimed at enhancing awareness of new digital technologies, noting the continuous impacts of COVID-19 pandemic that has led to a high demand for the digital technologies and advancements. The need for work, education and communication via digital platforms and related technological innovations continue to expand at an accelerated rate which necessitates the need to educate both children and adults on issues of technology and how they impact families.
The HOD for Social Development in Mpumalanga Mr Sarel Mtsweni during his address challenged families to engage through practical suggestions, innovative measures and actions to improve family ties and importantly find effective strategies to monitor children’s gadgets and other uses of technologies and movements as they turn to be some of the main causes of disturbances to their academic performance and violent behaviours. Mtsweni also emphasized the need for parents to allow and engage children and teenagers to effectively participate in decision-making on issues affecting them.