Uniting the kids of 7764 It has become evident that we lost our focus on the one aspect that truly matters – our youth; our future

2015-06-02 06:00


This group from Spes Bona High School is part of the line-up for the “Athlone unite – Project 7764” Youth Day celebrations organised by the Athlone Community Police Forum.

This group from Spes Bona High School is part of the line-up for the “Athlone unite – Project 7764” Youth Day celebrations organised by the Athlone Community Police Forum.

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Mahatma Ghandi once said that in order for society to change “one must be the change you want to see in the world”. This is exactly what the Community Police Forum (CPF) of Athlone has in mind with “Athlone unite – Project 7764”.

The name of the project refers to the post code of Athlone. Its aim is to “transform our society and change people’s mindsets about themselves and the area they live in”.

The long-term project will kick off on Youth Day (16 June) when the well-known EOAN Group, Bridgetown Theatre Company and Noel 4 Jazz will perform.

The event will take place at The Nantes from 10:00 to 14:30.

Nicole Williams, project coordinator of the Athlone CPF, says several schools in the area, including Bokmakierie Primary School, Garlandale High School and Spes Bona Senior Secondary School, as well as the “raw talent” in the community, will be given an opportunity to showcase their skills and live out the motto of “being the change you want to see in your community”.

The highlight of the day will come in the form of an “Athlone’s got talent” competition.

“We are a group of individuals who are committed to adding value to transforming our society and changing people’s mindsets about themselves and the area they live in. We volunteer our time to try and bring positive change to the communities of the broader Athlone area through our neighbourhood watches,” says Williams.

The CPF also helps the provincial department of education with its school holiday programme, lends a hand at school functions and liaises with the Athlone police, law enforcement and metro police to combat crime.

“We also work on projects which aim to assist the vulnerable, the youth at risk and the elderly,” says Williams.

She invites residents in the greater Ath­lone area to become partners in this venture. “For far too long we, the residents of Ath­lone, had been divided in our plight to fight crime and it has become evident that we lost our focus on the one aspect that truly matters – our youth; our future.”

The Youth Day event is hosted by the Athlone CPF in collaboration with various stakeholders, including the department of social development (early childhood development), department of cultural affairs and sports, provincial education department (safe schools initiative), GCIS, the Athlone Joint Neighbourhood Watch and the City of Cape Town.

Williams says that while great amounts of money and valuable resources are spent on combatting crime, not enough is spent on educating the children of Ath­lone in the arts of drama, culture and dance.

She says the focus of the Youth Day event and that of the Athlone CPF is not only on the children of the area, but also on the parents of the next generation.

“We want to educate our parents as to where in Athlone our children can connect to be a part of the change in our society.”

In a bid to highlight alternatives to becoming involved in gangsterism and drugs, the Youth Day event will include old-school activities for children, like indigenous games such as kennetjie, drie blikkies, tug-of-war, dominoes, kerrim and three-legged races.

She invites all the “diamonds in the rough” to participate in the various activities on the day.

V

For more information on the Youth Day event, call Nicole Williams on 071 2140 442 or Desiree Petersen on 084 6123 172

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