Students study area to improve it

2016-02-16 06:00

UCT students have been spotted around Heideveld in an effort to help bring improved services to the community. The project has been commissioned by the City of Cape Town through ward 44 councillor Anthony Moses.

“A project initiated last year by UCT asked us to bring students into the area and expose them to the environment,” he says.

The initiative will help both the community and the students understand how certain communities work, as well as the complexities on the ground and what can be done about those complexities.

Moses says the neighbourhood watch ran the programme for the last four to five months of last year and it brought in about 750 medical students.

Among the activities the students performed was reaching out to schools and victim abuse centres.

“It might be that [the students] come from various areas and various provinces in various countries and sometimes they do not have that kind of dynamics, such as how do you deal with healthcare,” says Moses.

Moses has also praised community members and volunteers for helping him facilitate the project.

“I have asked the neighbourhood watch to oversee this project. It is not that you can just expect people to come into our area and cannot guarantee their safety. It is also a way for the neighbourhood watch to learn new methods of crime prevention and see their role in how they can assist in minimising crime. The partnership with UCT is one of the ways.”

He says the students made their way into Heideveld once a week in groups of up to 30 students and were given an area of concern the neighbourhood watch felt they needed to investigate.

“If the topic, for instance, is domestic violence, they will go to a woman’s abuse centre, but we are also looking at it holistically. So we take them to various institutions,” Moses adds. Afterwards the students will discuss their findings and give clarity to the complexities.

“Heideveld is seen as one of the starters of this project. The project is also happening in Mitchell’s Plain and Langa.”

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