Molo Songololo was established as a direct result of interventions by community workers during the 1979 United Nation’s International Year of the Child initiative to act against Apartheid policies and State actions against children; and to promote the rights and protection of children. Children from forced removal and migration settlements in Cape Town such as District Six, Elsies River and Crossroads were brought together to interact with each other, share experiences and learn from each other to breakdown Apartheid barriers and promote children's rights and equality.
The first edition of the iconic Molo Songololo Magazine appeared in 1980 promoting multi-culturalism, non-discrimination and diversity through children’s stories, drawings, poems and articles about children of the Cape. The magazine became popular amongst primary school children and teachers used it in the classroom as an alternative educational tool. For more than 20-years the Molo Songololo Magazine informed and educated children about their rights and responsibilities, current affairs, social and political developments; and created dialogue amongst children. The last edition was produced in 2005 due to a lack of funding.
During the 1980s Molo Songololo initiated and participated in various campaigns; such as the FREE THE CHILDREN Campaign - to free children from jail, INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S DAY Campaign - to promote the rights of the child, EQUAL EDUCATION Campaign - against Apartheid education; etc. Molo Songololo was seen as a CHAMPION FOR CHILDREN!
Molo Songololo became a founding member of the NATIONAL CHILD RIGHTS COMMITTEE (NCRC) – a national network of organizations campaigning for the rights and protection of children. Molo Songololo in partnership with NCRC and Community Law Centre at UWC hosted the SUMMIT ON THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN IN SOUTH AFRICA where children drafted the CHILDREN’S CHARTER OF SOUTH AFRICA, 1992. The organization also facilitated children’s participation in various international UN, UNICEF, Terre des Homme-Germany, Global March and ECPAT initiatives. We facilitated for children to take part i the CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY process to draft the NEW CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH AFRICA, and the TRUTH COMMISSION HEARINGS; etc.
Molo Songololo’s in partnership with Southern African NGOs supported by TDH Germany pioneered the campaign to STOP CHILD TRAFFICKING IN CHILDREN. Molo Sogololo released the 1st report on the trafficking of children for sexual exploitation in South Africa. and became a recognized leading role-player against these human rights abuses at international, national and local level. The organization created awareness and education on the nature and extent of trafficking in persons; advocated for reform of the law and protection for victims; and provided direct support and assistance to victims of trafficking in children.
During 2010 – 2015 Molo Songololo pioneered South Africa’s response to ensure child protection during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Child protection measures were put in place at national, provincial and host cities and event venues. The government adopted a national child protection strategy for major events. Molo Songololo advocated for national guidelines to prevent and combat CHILD EXPLOITATION. These guidelines are now in place. Molo Songololo continues with its STOP CHILD TRAFFICKING campaign through awareness and educational activities. Molo Songololo advocates for increased Sate accountability for and with children. The organisation renewed calls for the establishment of an OMBUDSPERSON FOR CHILDREN and increased efforts to promote child participation in public decision-making processes.