Teach the young ones

2018-03-29 06:02
A youth leadership program for boys at risk has been established by Nyanga SAPS to develop young boys.                PHOTO: SAPS

A youth leadership program for boys at risk has been established by Nyanga SAPS to develop young boys. PHOTO: SAPS

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Nyanga police, in their fight against crime, have decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns, and teach discipline to youngsters at risk.

They have embarked on an innovative approach by establishing a developmental program for them.

Called “Youth Leadership Development Program for Boys At Risk”, the project has, to date, enrolled about 28 boys from various schools in the Nyanga precinct.

It started in January and focuses on boys from ages 12 to 15 years, from Bongolethu, Liwa and Hlengisa Primary Schools.

Nyanga SAPS Social Crime Coordinator, Warrant Officer Marthinus Muller, and the Domestic Violence Coordinator, Constable Marelda Abrahams, say they saw the need to develop the youth in the area into leaders who can positively influence those around them at school and in the community in order to curb crime.

“We have therefore developed a three year project which is currently run as a pilot project with amendments in the pipeline, to ensure its viability.

These are children at risk, who become in contact with crime, due to a lack of positive role models,” he said.

Muller added that these youngsters fall in the same pattern of crime. He said the aim of the program is to gain the involvement of the child, the parent, and the community.

“... So that they can see that through this initiative, young people’s attitude towards the future changes and the realization that through education and knowledge they can change their situation and become a positive influence,” he explained.

“Through an identification process implemented at problematic schools, the staff, principals as well as the Department of Social Development who work with such children, has identified these boys as youth at risk.

The children were enrolled into the program and will stay until the champion phase, from where they will graduate,” he said. Muller said the program phases included the initial identification process, the leadership camp, mentorship and the championship phase, where they will graduate and be ready to impact on those around them.

“In order to accomplish what we has envisioned, it is necessary to build viable partnerships with different stakeholders who have the same goals towards the youth.

Monthly meetings between stakeholders and facilitators will be held,” added Muller.

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