Anti-drugs campaign hots up

2016-06-23 06:00
 Young people from Thembani and Khwezi took to the streets during the march against crime and substance abuse.

Young people from Thembani and Khwezi took to the streets during the march against crime and substance abuse.

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Despite violent crime constantly rearing its head, the community of Thembani and Khwezi are resolute in their fight for youth empowerment.

For Youth Month the Thembokhwezi Residents Association has embarked on programs to develop young people.

They started their activities with a sports day, a lecture on youth development on June 16 as well as march against crime and substance abuse.

According to TRA organiser Phindile George it is now more important to strengthen the fight against the anti-social activities.

On Wednesday evening last week residents were confronted with the grim discovery of the remains of a man who was burnt to death, in an open field in the area.

“The biggest challenge for the youth is substance abuse, which leads to other social ills such as violent crime and theft. This problem is magnified by the fact that there aren’t any functioning facilities for the youth, so they end up experimenting with drugs and alcohol,” said George.

He said that they would continue with their activities in a bid to get the youth involved.

“Just like the youth of 1976, which was faced with the apartheid system, which endangered lives through systematic brutal killings.

They find themselves in a cycle of under-development because they have no recreational facilities or programs, but are exposed to drugs and crime, making them vulnerable to being recruited by criminal gangs.

It’s for this reason that we have come up with a program to activate and sensitize them,” he said.

He said that the youth program began on the 4th June and will end on the weekend of 2nd July.

“This weekend we are hosting an academic achievers event where we will be will be awarding learners who have performed well in school.

As a society we often wait until the end of the year to recognise these learners, but now we have to motivate them so that those that are not doing well can raise the bar,” he added.

He said that they were happy with the community turnout and encouraged more residents to get involved.

“We need financial supports as well as skills support so that we can conduct more activities,” he pleaded.

He said that their activities will culminate in prayer service where religious organisations will be invited.

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