Dambuza youth play street ball to empower girls

2010-08-10 00:00

IT was a Women’s Day celebration on the streets of the Dambuza township in Edendale yesterday as a local group called the “Ubuntu Awareness Committee” hosted a day of street soccer and netball for the young girls of the community.

School girls from all of the area’s surrounding primary schools were invited to take part in the event and were cheered on by the community’s young men, who were sidelined for the day.

A portion of the Dambuza main road was blocked off and five “fields” were set up to accommodate for the day’s sporting activities.

Co-founder of the Ubuntu Awareness Committee and event organiser, Thando Duma, said that the main aim of the day was to empower the community’s young women to be strong and independent.

“The worst thing I see in this community is that women are vulnerable, easy crime targets,” he explained.

“By having a day like this we are telling women that they can stand up for themselves.”

In between the sporting activities, those in attendance were treated to a stage play that focused on the significance of Women’s Day, a traditional dancing performance, a talent show and an address from a local school teacher who raised issues of women’s independence.

This is the fifth sporting event organised by the Ubuntu Awareness Campaign and Duma says that the work the group is doing is certainly making a visible difference to the lives of those in the community.

“At one of our events we had two young boys who were scouted by a local football team and they are now playing for a good side and being well looked after,” he said.

Duma added that the main aim of the initiative is to focus on all community issues and not only sports development.

“We don’t want to focus only on sports, but these events give us a good opportunity to engage with the community so that they will let us help them in the future,” he said.

“We have a goal to help those community members without identity documents and birth certificates to register their identities so that they can benefit from government grants and build lives for themselves.

“Making sure that the youth knows the importance of education is something else that we think is very important; there is a severe lack of education in our community.”

Those wishing to contact the committee can call Simphiwe Josephs on 076 070 3683. The organisation is the in the process of registering as an NGO.

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