The Langa Seventh-day Adventist Church in collaboration with Safe Schools: Metropole Central Education District hosted a “Back to School” event in partnership with South African Police Service.
This was in response to the National Government’s appeal to Faith-Based Organisations, particularly churches, to join hands with the government departments in fighting crime in our communities.
Outlining the purpose of the event, its organizer Ms Funiswa Didishe said it was to engage directly with the students from surrounding schools “to instil sound values for the positive development of youth into responsible citizen who respect themselves and the community members at large and promote education as a divine individual responsibility.”
It was to also to raise awareness about the dangers of substance abuse and prevent young people from using them. It was part of the church’s expansion of its youth development programmes in order to make a direct and positive impact on the young people of the community.
52 students from Langa High,Isilimela High, Ikamvalethu High and some learners from Kulani High participated in the the event which was held at the SDA Church building at Jungle Walk street.
The students were addressed by a number of speakers on a number of issues surrounding substance abuse.
These included Ps Khethelo Mazibuko, Dr. Abongile Qamata, Mrs Bongiwe Mbunge/ Ms Sibongile Mhlana, Mrs Thandi. Mati and SAPS Warrant Officer (WO) Makupula, Ms Funiswa Didishe and Mr T Noveve. WO Makupula specifically lauded the church for the initiative and the partnership.
The students not only listened to experts, but they also participated in a facilitated dialogue which was highly enlightening on the topic of substance abuse.
Speaking on behalf of the students, were Bathandwa Mtyi from Isilimela High, Yolanda Tomy, and Luthando Joko both Gr 12 from Langa, expressed gratitude to the church for opening the young people’s eyes to reasons why substance abuse was to be avoided. Bathandwa said “As young people, we had no idea that there is a church that is so concerned and has such positive influence on young people. We think that church are only interested in getting money from people. Thank you to the Seventh-day Adventist church”.
Landa SDA thanks the principals and the school safety officers of the above listed s schools for allowing their learners to attend and participate in this programme.
“We also acknowledge Mrs Carmelita Prinsloo( Safe Schools Co-ordinator) for providing good food for our learners.Safe Schools is a wonderful government programme that invites all of us to join hands in fighting crime in our communitie,” said Patrick Kulati.
“The church is seriously addressing issues that affect the communities and it is willing to partner with government and any other sector that is interested in improving the community,” said Kulati.