Duminy inspires youth

2018-07-10 06:00
Malachi Adams plays a game of snakes and ladders with SA Cricketer JP DuminyPHOTOS: Samantha Lee

Malachi Adams plays a game of snakes and ladders with SA Cricketer JP DuminyPHOTOS: Samantha Lee

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A three-day project packed with fun, sun and activities offered local children more than just something to do with their school holidays.

The JP21 Foundation hosted a holiday clinic in partnership with the Mass Opportunity Access and Development (Mod) programme at Cedar High School at the end of last month. More than 300 children attended.

“A new programme to the JP21 Foundation is to include holiday clinics catering to all children in Mitchell’s Plain and not only those who are part of the programme. We have all our coaches here and it is not only cricket or sports but also life skills and social interactions,” says Jamaine Cloete, JP21 Foundation Project Manager.

The programme included movies, gymnastics, chess, board games, ball games and other fun while giving the children a safe escape during the first week of the school holidays. This was coupled with cricket matches, cricket skills development and a meeting with foundation founder, SA cricketer JP Duminy.

“We partnered with the Mod programme exchanging resources and shared values. It is mainly to make sure children are off the streets during the holiday, creating a safe space for them to keep active and if we can use cricket in that way, it is great,” says Cloete­.

The Mod programme is an initiative by the Western Cape Government with 24 centres in the education district.

André Hugo, Mod programme officer for education district south, says the programme is set out to develop children on various levels, which include leadership.

“The programme is run under the auspices of the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and our aim is to develop the learner holistically through sport and life skills. This is one of our key partnerships and the first of many more. It is important to work with stakeholders in our communities and share ideas and resources with one another,” says Hugo.

“Sometimes there is a focus on sport but social involvement and life skills are lacking. Soft skills such as team work, empathy are important for children to learn. We also find that there is often a lack of resources in the home where the parents cannot afford attire. Children are very conscious of this. We are trying to break the stigma around this so that children are not kept behind due to lack of attire.”

Other partners included local police, Law Enforcement and Cedar High School. Cloete thanked them for their involvement in the initiative.

“It is important that stakeholders have shared interests in the keeping the children active, especially with everything that is going on in the area these days. We can be an outlet for a lot of children during this time and that speaks to the message of the foundation, which is creating opportunities and a safe space while engaging children on a social level,” says Cloete.

Duminy says the intervention was perfect timing.

“This is the opportune time to influence children in a positive way. They have many hours in the day to get involved with the wrong people and it is important that we upskill them and a different view of what life can look like,” he says.

“It is not about telling them what to do, we need to be an example. My view is to share experiences and learnings or challenges from it. Hopefully those stories catch on with the kids and have them aspire to be better­.”

He continues that surrounding yourself with the right people is paramount to keeping children from social ills.

“There are so many good people and good projects in this huge community. You just need to find them and be open to new things, seeing what people can do for you. There are people in this community that will go out of their way to help someone. You don’t have to succumb to peer pressure. You don’t have to follow the ‘cool crowed’ and follow in the gangsters’ footsteps. You can be cool in your own positive way.”

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