Awarded for good work

2015-08-11 06:01
Cheslyn Steenberg shows off the award he got for the work he does to uplift his community

Cheslyn Steenberg shows off the award he got for the work he does to uplift his community

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As the famous saying goes: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Some live every day of their lives trying to make sure that they become the change they want to see and make their communities a better place.

One such person is Cheslyn Steenberg (22) from Kensington, who says seeing the good in his community makes him sleep better at night. Doing every little thing possible for his community to make it a better place makes him happy and gives others hope.

Steenberg was recently recognised with a Lead SA award for the good work he is doing in his area.

Steenberg’s work aims for community upliftment. Working to see that everything is in order, he works with youngsters to stop crime and work tirelessly so that everyone in his community has an equal opportunity.

LeaderHe is involved in many things in his community: He is the secretary of the Kensington community police forum, the ward 56 youth representative and the chairperson of Frontier “youth serving youth”.

He says he does all this to make sure that his community is a better one.

He says he is humbled by the Lead SA award.

“I didn’t expect it. I hope it will also motivate other youth and others in the community to stand up and work for their communities. I’m involved with the community on many levels because I believe this community can be a better one,” he says.

His community involvement started at the age of 12 while in Grade 6 at Sunderland Primary School.

“I saw the challenges that the people in my community were facing. There were many social challenges and social ills – I had to do something. I saw the need to do something good because at the end of the day we are one people and we should do good for one another,” he says.

Though he tries to be involved and help where he can, he says his community is still facing many challenges.”

“People here – both the young and the old – are struggling to get employment. Housing is a challenge as we have a substantial number of backyard dwellers. Substance abuse and gangsterism also pose a great risk.

“However, I am of the opinion that nobody is too bad to become better or good. These challenges we face will become something of the past if we as a community work together. That is the key. Working against each other is bad for all,” he says.
Steenberg says his wish is to see a community where people really care for one another.
“We are already caring but we can do better. I would appreciate the fact if our youth start to enrol in tertiary institutions, become employed and take care of their families. I would like to see a community where our elderly are respected and taken good care of. We need to remember that the elderly are our pillars, they gave us what we have today: Education, freedom and life.

“I live every day hoping that one day I will see this community become a place of hope for all, not a war zone, not a place of hopelessness and depression,” he says.

Steenberg encourages other youngsters to finish school.
“The youth can start by attending school and finishing school, get into a tertiary institution and empower themselves. But this does not come without hard work; hard work is the key to success. If our youth can just take their heads out of the sand, shake it off, have a goal and aim for it, then half the battle is won,” he says.

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