Take pride in parks for children’s sake

2015-11-24 06:00
 Children play at Partys Plein Park In Factreton where one of the Park Jams will be held on 19 December to remind people to be proud of their parks PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Children play at Partys Plein Park In Factreton where one of the Park Jams will be held on 19 December to remind people to be proud of their parks PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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A park is a tranquil space and somewhere where a child can really be a child.

This is what Cheslyn Steenberg, chairperson of the Frontiers, truly believes. To make sure that the parks are kept that way and that children have a safe space to play, they are launching the Park Jam on 28 November at the Glider Crescent park from 14:00 until 18:00.

This will be followed by two other events at the Hawe Plein Park on 16 December and the last one on 19 December at the Partys Plein Park. Park Jam is born out of the campaign #IamFactreton which encourages people to have a sense of belonging and pride of their areas. The park jam is twofold – to call on people to look after the parks, and also to give local artists a space to showcase their talent.

The aim of the Park Jam is to get residents – especially those close to the park – to keep an eye on the parks. Frontiers is calling on residents near the park to make sure that the park is clean, protect play equipment and sure that the park is sustainable so that children, senior citizens and everyone who uses the park, can benefit from it.

Steenberg says this is to create a sense of belonging and pride.

“It’s very important to look after our parks. Those in authority are trying very hard to give the community – most of all children – a safe place to play, so the least that we can do is to look after it. We want parks to be clean and well looked after. It’s not a good thing for our children to play in parks with broken bottles and rubble, littered with papers or disgusting things such as used condoms. We want it to be a nice and comfortable place hence we are calling on everyone to be part of this launch.

“Imagine a situation where you open your door and see children playing in the park. It looks clean and the equipment is working properly. It’s such a beautiful sight and we want to cultivate that sense of pride and ownership by having people to be involved in their parks,” he says.

Part of the launch is to create a space for artists to perform for their communities at the park, be it music and song, poetry, drama, dancing, rapping, beat boxing or any other form of entertainment. Everything is being done and organised by the youth but they will not give any platform to politicians or the elderly to address people, as they may taint the message.

“This is a community event, but all we are saying is the youth are in charge. Its youth talking to youth. When a message is sent by a youth to another, the message is straight forward and quick. Politicians or the elderly will go around with us – we are cutting straight to the chest. We are saying no to gangsterism, drugs and alcohol, and we want safe and clean parks – that’s it. We want the youths to take ownership. We want youths to be open to each other and we will understand each other very well because we have the same level of understanding. We won’t speak in riddles – we want messages to be clear and we start to see a change in the communities,” he says.

Steenberg also added that though it’s being done in their ward, they are calling for everyone to take part, even if they don’t live in their area.

V Those who want to attend can call Steenberg on 083 543 1344.

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