Youth give back

2017-03-28 06:02
Participants in the DAD youth programme gave Ethel’s Place in Civet Street, Eastridge a fresh coat of paint on Human Rights Day.PHOTO: Samantha Lee

Participants in the DAD youth programme gave Ethel’s Place in Civet Street, Eastridge a fresh coat of paint on Human Rights Day.PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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After children started peeling off the paint following the first makeover, participants in a local youth programme have stepped in to give Ethel’s Place a fresh new look.

Ethel’s Place in Civet Street, Eastridge houses the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre. The building received a fresh coat of paint and was cleaned by a group of visiting students last year, but it was in need of a new look as the bottom half of the building was almost completely stripped of paint.

Looking for a Human Rights Day community activity, the DAD youth ambassadors stepped in to help.

DAD, standing for Decisions Affect Destinies, is a youth programme set up by ward 78 councillor Eddie Andrews.

“What we love doing with the community projects is that we rope in the parents as well to further show the importance of giving back to the community, irrespective of what your local circumstances might be,” Andrews says.

He adds that the programme members are required to participate in as many projects as possible to earn their place at a leadership camp.

Ashley Potts, director of both Ethel’s Place and the drug centre, says the youngsters were looking for a project in which they would have more freedom. “They wanted a project that had fewer restrictions where they could bring all of the ambassadors. At other initiatives they had to be limited in the number of ambassadors and here they have a lot more freedom to move around and do many things,” says Potts.

“Potts has been involved with the DAD programme since its inception. We will always look at how we can assist. Part of our concept is for all sector leaders to also identify projects where we can add value as a group. Ethel’s Place is a beacon of hope in the Eastridge community as a multipurpose facility offering lots of good work in the area,” says Andrews.

Potts says seven groups of about 50 people worked on various projects in and around the building from 10:00 to 14:00. This included a general cleanup, logo painting, fixing the front fence, working on the main building, adding murals and positive quotes and doing preparations for the Open Streets event.

This was their first community project for the year. Other projects include partnering with NGOs to clean parks. Andrews says they are looking to do at least two projects per month.

The DAD programme aims to develop leadership among youth and promote better decision-making.

New participants can join the programme year-round.

Youngsters in Grades 7 to 9 between the ages of 11 and 14 years who are interested in joining the programme should contact Eddie Andrews on 021 444 8699, 082 377 1414 or eddie.andrews@capetown.gov.za.

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