Children taught to grow

2018-10-09 06:00
Children in Pelican Park and New Horizon took part in a holiday programme in the area last week.PHOTO: Earl Haupt

Children in Pelican Park and New Horizon took part in a holiday programme in the area last week.PHOTO: Earl Haupt

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Droves of children joined in the fun, motivational and educational talks held at the Pelican Park Community Centre this week.

The Pelican Park Owners’ Association, in conjunction with the New Horizon Crime Watch, Pelican Park Neighbourhood Watch as well as Habitat for Humanity presented a holiday programme for the youth of the area­.

John Bailey, chairperson of the Pelican Park Owners’ Association, says the reception of the programme was “fantastic” as more and more children joined in as the week went on.

“We are trying to impose change into the children’s lifestyle.

“We are providing an alternative to standing on the street and part of that is interceptive programmes like this where we can physically become proactive in implementing a change.

“If we start at a young age, then the next generation has it covered. We also saw that in hosting programmes like this, that the need is definitely to engage the parents as the dysfunctionality starts with parents,” he says.

As a result, the group has embarked on parenting workshops which have been running at the same venue for the last few Saturdays­.

“What we have seen is that you can repair the life of a child now, but if a parent is not prepared to engage the child, then you are going to have problems. You can equip the children, but if there is no practical follow-through of that or the parents are not empowered enough to engage the child on the level that is required, then the exercise is futile,” says Bailey.

New Horizon Crime Watch’s Ruwayda van der Westhuizen says that apart from protecting the children during the week, many of the members are part of the Walking Bus programme in the area, which also helps create safety awareness among the children.

“The children are more alert and feel safer in the area of the Walking Bus in the morning and afternoon,” she says.

The programme is growing and both organisations welcome the help they may receive from others in order to conduct the programmes, which will continue every holiday­.

“We believe in potential growth in our youngsters. That is why we feel they need to be empowered to such a level where they are able to duplicate that which they learn from us here. We have been overwhelmed by the numbers we got,” says Bailey.

He says that reformed gangsters came to speak to the children and advised them not to pursue the path they had followed.

“We are looking at duplicating this to such an extent where we are able to walk into a house and see that there are functional families. We have had enough of dysfunctional families and we want to see a change in that. You have to cause an implode before you get an explode.

“We are at a stage where we have seen the results of the implode. The implosion has been fantastic and now we want to see the explosion of that. That we will only see as these children play out their lives and go on and engage life.”


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