Giving back to youth

2017-06-13 09:16
Youth from three orphanages in the greater Athlone area were hosted by Vangate Mall for a special dinner on Thursday.

Youth from three orphanages in the greater Athlone area were hosted by Vangate Mall for a special dinner on Thursday. (Earl Haupt)

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The month of Ramadaan has also signified the beginning of a new campaign to give back.

The Vangate Mall “Community with Heart” campaign ties in perfectly with Ramadaan, according to the mall’s marketing manager, Gouwa Waja-Stemmett.

Vangate Mall invited three orphanages from the surrounding area – Habibia Children’s Home, Manenberg’s Place of Safety and Youth For Life – for a dinner on Thursday.

“We have a lots of activities for the community and there is a lot of giving that we are doing. We just want to treat the children and make sure that they have not just a good meal, but an exciting meal. We gave them some balloons, some party packs, little prizes, vouchers and things that we planned for them,” says Waja-Stemmett.

As they gathered around the table, the interaction between the children was akin to a big family dinner when breaking fast.

“What ties into this campaign is a fasting campaign, because fasting is very big in this community. We have worked out a campaign where we are going to award 250 children who write a motivational letter with a certificate, a bucket of joy (10kg of luxuries) and then we have little spot prizes like a limo trip for you and your family to Ratanga Junction with all meals included. We really want our community to feel very special,” adds Waja-Stemmett.

Youth for Life is a branch of Brothers for Life, a community upliftment group in Manenberg.
Zainab Adams (18) from Youth for Life is glad that they have had the opportunity to join in the festivities and help their fellow residents to an enriching experience.

“I think that this is a very wonderful experience for us, because we never actually get invited to things as a youth group. I think for the small ones they were very excited to come today and by the looks on their faces they are actually enjoying it,” she says.

One of the brothers at Brothers for Life, Noegh Cornelius, says that they plan to shift their attention to the youth a bit more.

“The direction that we are going in is that we are focusing on the youth a lot to make sure that the sustainability of our areas is brighter than what it is now. We have to show the youth that there is a better option than violence and those type of things. It is actually serving their community in doing the better good,” says Cornelius.

Adams says that with the help of the Brothers, they will be able to do more in the future.

“We are organising events so that we can bring the youth together. We have had two events recently and we handed out party packets to them. We got all the youth to come and to see the smiles on their faces, it was a nice experience, but we are hoping to have a youth day where we have activities for the children and play games,” she adds.

With winter now firmly grasping the Cape, they have embarked on a new project.

“Another focus that we are still embarking on, because of winter, is the blanket drive. We appeal to all our followers as well as the broader community to just donate one blanket per person. They can contact me and they can just let us know, because we can collect from them as well. We will prefer people to buy the goods themselves and bring it. We also invite people to come with when we distribute so that they can see where it is going and the people we are serving as well. It is not just in Athlone, we have extended ourselves right up to Cape Town. By the grace of The Almighty, that is what we are striving towards, just to service our community as far as possible.”

For more information or to donate to Youth for Life, contact Zainab Adams on 064 117 4298 or zainabadams14@gmail.com.
For more information on Brothers For Life, call Noegh Cornelius on 082 900 4784.

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