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Value of youth and children


Life is a gift from God and each person has a unique value in God’s eyes (Gen.1:26-27, Ps. 139), irrespective of the values we ascribe to different people on the basis of culture, age, gender, power, position and performance.

Children are reminders of God’s gift of life. They are expressions of life, hope and love. They carry the potential for the future of their personal lives, their families, communities and society in general. At the same time children are dependent and vulnerable. They need care, nurture and protection to grow and develop to their full potential. The way adults and society nurture and influence children will determine what kind of society will emerge in the future.

In recognising this, The Salvation Army realises the challenges presented by the HIV/AIDS pandemic resulting in ever-increasing child headed households, orphans and vulnerable children, and acknowledges the need for a focused effort in this regard.

Jesus made a direct link between children and the values of the Kingdom of God. He stated that the Kingdom of God belongs to the children and that all who want to enter the Kingdom need to become like children (Matt. 19:13-14). He pointed to a child as an example of true greatness (Matt. 18:1-4) and gave a harsh warning to anybody who inflicts harm on children (Matt. 18:5-6).

The Salvation Army believes that the care, nurture and protection of children should be an absolute priority.

The Salvation Army:

  • recognizes its responsibility in caring for children and young people and safeguarding their rights as set out in the constitution of the Republic of South Africa;
  • is concerned with the spiritual, physical, psychological and social well-being of each child and seeks to prevent the abuse of children and young people;
  • takes an active role in the prevention of harmful practices such as alcohol & drug abuse;
  • takes an active role in the fight against human trafficking and any form of exploitation or abuse.

The Salvation Army teaches and upholds Christian values for children and their families and seeks to expose them to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.