Man Down helps you up

2015-05-05 06:00
Community members show their support for Project Man Down on Saturday 11 April.



Community members show their support for Project Man Down on Saturday 11 April. PHOTO: Supplied

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If you’re “man down”, a revived project started in Retreat will help you up.

Man Down is a church-based project in the greater Retreat area.

The project aims to help youth who are vulnerable to drugs, poverty, teenage pregnancy, peer pressure and abuse which makes them feel “socially despondent and negative towards life”.

Project co-ordinator and policeman Amerzen Mclean decided to revive the initiative of the Pentecostal Faith Centre Church in 4th Avenue, Retreat.

“We launched this project in Lavender Hill two years ago when the need was realised. Our youth is vulnerable and they need as much support as they can get and that’s exactly what we’re doing through this project,” Mclean says.

He adds some context to where the name for the project came from, saying it is used metaphorically.

“During a soccer match when a player gets injured you normally shout ‘Man down’. This will then indicate to the referee that you have a player in a vulnerable position who needs assistance. That is basically the essence of this project,” he explains.

At first, Mclean says, the project was aimed just at young men in the Lavender Hill area.

“However, we realised that there are many vulnerable men and women in our communities and it should be a holistic approach. Our youth is in turmoil and we need to offer them support so they may stay on the right path,” Mclean says.

The relaunch of the project, which was held at the corners of Botma Street and Bach Avenue in Steenberg on Saturday 11 April, came after the project was quiet for a year, he tells.

“Due to administration issues we could not continue during 2013 but we have come up with a new approach and are positive this will work. The aim of the event was to launch the project into the community and show the community what it is that the Man Down Project has to offer,” he says.

The project was celebrated with much enthusiasm on the day, Mclean says, adding that different departments showcased services on the day.

The project has also established a partnership with Living Hope, which did HIV, tuberculosis and blood pressure testing on the launch day.

A pledge was also signed to symbolise the commitment to Project Man Down and the community.

“Speakers, such as ex-gang members who are now into ministry, spoke to the youngsters, warning them about the detriments of gangsterism and the negativity it brings to society as a whole.

“The project also exposes upcoming talent in music with young men entering the gospel rap game showing the youth different ways of enjoying and exploring music as a hobby and a career path.”

Mclean says the project aims to bring back hope to the community of Lavender Hill.

“We want to share the good message of Christ and become a support base in our communities. We aim to reach this goal through educating, encouraging and supporting our youth against social scourges,” he says.


For more information about Project Man Down visit the Pentecostal Faith Centre in 4th Avenue, Retreat or like them on Facebook “Project Man Down”

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