In an effort to walk the talk, youth from various areas in Cape Town joined hands with volunteers from South Korea to give the Lansdowne train station a makeover.
This group of young women and men are members of World Mission Society Church of God. The church, which has its roots in South Korea, has opened branches in South Africa.
The voluntary group, called ASEZ WAO, forms part of the church. ASEZ WAO stands for “Save the Earth from A to Z, We Are One”.
One of the volunteers, Precious Malete, says a commandment of their church is to go out there, to change the world and to also look after the Earth.
Painting the station is one way to achieve this. This type of campaign also makes others think about the importance of community service, she says.
“We want to tap into people’s consciences, especially those who are not giving back to the community. We are here to paint the subway and to make it brighter.
“We use a tree concept,” she explains.
According to Malete, the tree concept speaks about Mother Nature who takes care of nature. She says the congregation believes in “God, the father, God, the mother”. Mother takes care of the offspring and if they apply the mother concept, they will take care of nature.
She hopes their community work will encourage residents to do the same.
Her message for people is to do their bit in helping out in their communities where they can and where help is needed.
“They must not mess up and must take care of their communities,” she says.
Mark Kleinschmidt, councillor for ward 60, attended the makeover.
He thanked the volunteers and encouraged them to look after the Earth and to preserve it.
“I have a great belief in young people. Today is like being in Noah’s Ark – you are doing something good and there is rain. Thank you for your contribution and God bless you,” he said.
Ronel Viljoen, the proportional representation (PR) councillor for ward 22, was also there. She thanked the volunteers for their work and encouraged them to take ownership of their communities.
“Thank you very much for coming out today. Young people must join hands and help their communities.
“We also welcome their ideas that will help to educate the community. You must be proud of where you stay and take ownership,” she said.
George Kiewiets, special projects manager of Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) in the Western Cape, said the group of volunteers claimed back their community.
He commended them for that and encouraged women to take a stand and not to throw in the towel.
“There is hope out there. Men need to respect women. Women, do not give up on changing the world around you,” he said.