Event empowers youth

2019-06-18 06:00
Youth having fun PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

Youth having fun PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

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Scores of young people gathered at the Lansdowne Civic Centre on Thursday 13 June to learn about a range of things from various professionals including police officers and social development officials.

The fun-filled event was organised by the Lansdowne clinic and attended by the crime prevention forum (CPU).

Ward 60 councillor Mark Kleinschmidt told the youth he did not see them as future leaders but as today’s leaders. “You are already today’s leaders. The fact that you are here means you are leaders,” Kleinschmidt said. He cautioned them about using drugs, urging them to focus on their school work.

He explained that staying at school could help improve their lives. “We want you to know that if you stay at school and finish matric, you can further your studies and get a job. By (doing) that you will be releasing yourselves from life of poverty.”

Kleinschmidt also encouraged them to listen carefully to all the speakers and apply what they learned in their respective communities. His last message to the youth was to respect women and emphasised that boys need to treat girls with dignity and be disciplined.

Speaking on behalf of the organisers, sister Ntungwa Nontozamo explained that the event is hosted annually to educate the youth about health matters in a fun way.

“We encourage the youth to visit the clinic for HIV tests, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) tests, family planning and to ask for condoms and ask any health-related questions,” Nontozamo explained.

She added the message about healthy living has been well received. She commended the youth for using the health facility, saying they were able to deal well with teenage pregnancy. The clinic is planning more fun events to educate young people about a range of health-related issues, she said.

Station Commander Shawn Van Wyk from Lansdowne Police Station said they are very much involved in the event and works closely with the clinic. He said the event gave youth from disadvantaged areas an opportunity to be involved in something good. The community is faced with a range of challenges and he encouraged them to rise above those obstacles. “This community has a challenge of drugs and alcohol abuse as well as domestic violence. We want to encourage them to get the necessary education to better themselves and their future family lives,” he explained.

He said when they become fathers and mothers they will have to use the knowledge acquired at the event to empower themselves and to get out of difficult situations.

“We also want the youth to know that as police we see them as our neighbours and not enemies,” he added.

Lydia Williams (23) she said she learned a lot from the event. “Health is very important so I am happy to be here to learn more about it,” she said.


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