More than 80 school children from Nomzamo and its surrounding areas spent the recent school holidays engrossed in a six-day programme run by Khuseleka.The programme, which was held at Ikhaya Lethemba Village, aimed to empower the youngsters with education on family values and to give them a chance to have fun in a safe space. The participants were aged 10 to 19. Khuseleka is a gender-based violence organisation that focuses on empowering communities to fight violence directed at them. “We do this through training, workshops and therapeutic sessions with our clients,” explained Xolani Mcoyana, project manager at Khuseleka. During the Spring holiday programme, Mcoyana added, the organisation’s training coordinator, Mandisa Cenga, led participants in identifying behaviours that constitute good family values, and the ones that can be understood as being dysfunctional. Furthermore, social worker Nophelo Maliwa engaged the young people in issues such as child abuse, sexual abuse, albinism stigmatising and gender stereotypes. “Police officers of Lwandle Police Station, led by Captain Thembekazi Maqekeni, also explained child safety and gave the children safety tips,” Mcoyana added.During an educational workshop, Merriman Ndwalaza, a social worker at the Department of Social Development’s Somerset West office, also warned the youngsters of the dangers and consequences of substance abuse. “In between sessions, participants were engaged in recreational and dance activities by the vivacious Nobesuthu Mtengwana,” he related, adding that the programme was enjoyed by all and kept the children off the streets.“This programme exceeded our expectations; we expected 50 participants, but we ended up with more than 80 and we were forced to show some away.” Mcoyana further acknowledged that the organisation had some challenges in feeding the children twice daily. “We aim to host a holiday programme in December as well, but we need a bigger space so that we can accommodate more children,” he said.Khuseleka thanked organiser Nomandithili Molteno, Umtata Lounge and Ikhaya Lethemba Village for the part they played in the project’s success. It also invites anyone interested in getting involved to come on board for the December project, through sponsorship or volunteering, and to contact Mcoyana on 083 335 9951 or firstname.lastname@example.org.