Western Cape govt deploys 1 000 youth as violence prevention facilitators

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MEC Fritz launches youth ambassadors for violence prevention.
MEC Fritz launches youth ambassadors for violence prevention.
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  • The Western Cape government has deployed 1 000 youth as violence prevention facilitators.
  • They will work closely on initiatives and interventions to curb violence in communities.
  • They will earn a monthly stipend for the duration of the contract, which will run for six to 12 months.

The Western Cape government has deployed 1 000 youths as violence prevention facilitators throughout the province as part of its safety plan.

On Tuesday, the MEC for Community Safety, Albert Fritz, launched the Youth Safety Ambassador Programme (YSAP) at West End Primary School in Lentegeur.

According to Fritz, the ambassadors will work closely on initiatives and interventions identified by area-based teams, which are localised, multidisciplinary bodies set up to initiate and implement violence prevention in communities plagued by murder and violent crimes.

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"I am very excited to be launching this project today," Fritz said. 

"It is the culmination and result of many months of hard work, starting with a much smaller pilot project, from which we have learned many lessons in regard to how we ensure that such programmes have the desired impact."

Fritz said the safety ambassadors will be placed at different institutions, like schools, municipalities, NGOs and other locations around the province.

The Western Cape education department (WCED) said the programme provided schools with additional support, with the youth safety ambassadors assisting with a variety of tasks, such as Covid-19 screening, patrolling and administrative duties.

"The ambassadors are also linked to community-based support teams," WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said.

"Schools should be the centre of every community, and it is very often beneficial to engage and collaborate with the various community structures and forums," added Hammond.

The ambassadors will earn a monthly stipend for the duration of the contract, which will run for six to 12 months.

"My department is investing a lot of resources into this programme, including further opportunities for upskilling that will enable them to access other personal and professional development opportunities once their contracts come to an end," Fritz added.

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