Crime zones turned to peace zones

Community activists and children clean and restore a local recreational park that has been taken over by criminal elements.
Community activists and children clean and restore a local recreational park that has been taken over by criminal elements.

Local activists are on a mission to turn areas taken over by violence and crime into peaceful zones.

Women4Action Factreton recently collaborated with the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) to clean a recreational park within the Factreton community to raise awareness about peace and health within the community. The park was initially a space where young people used to participate in sporting activities including netball, and a place where children could play freely after school.

However, in recent days, the park has been taken over by gangs and many people have been afraid to even walk past the area due to gang violence. As children cleaned the park, many shared stories on how they wanted to help restore it as it had brought them joy in the past.

The clean-up formed part of the IPYG’s Peace My City campaign, which is currently being rolled out in various areas through the assistance of ward councillors, the youth as well as women’s organisations working within the area.

The Peace My City initiative was launched on 22 April 2017 in Gugulethu, and various communities use it to identify zones in the community that are currently being used to practise crime and violence and transform them into peace zones.

“The campaign is an international movement challenging organisations, groups, companies and civil society to identify deserted areas, areas associated with killing, violence and any form of conflict with the intention of refurbishing them into becoming peace zones,” the group says in a
statement.

V For more information about Peace My City, visit www.ipyg.org or contact IPYG at sa@ipyg.org.

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