Children who abuse drugs or alcohol are increasingly becoming a common trend in our coloured communities. Teenage pregnancies, and children leaving school at primary level, are no longer a shock. The shocking reality is that some parents simply do not care anymore. Many organisations like Cape Coast Youth simply do not get support from parents or community members. Parents are most likely to use the current political atmosphere in South Africa, to justify their laxity in the education of their own children. It’s the sad reality in the majority of our coloured communities I’ve been.
My feeling is that churches must play a bigger role in stopping the decline in communities; unfortunately. it does not happen. Political leaders are visible only before and until election time, after which they shine in their absence. Nobody is willing to bear the blame, with the children growing up in an area of uncertainty. Children to teenagers therefore have little hope of a decent future, or to promote themselves to leaders in their own right.
Also shocking in coloured communities, is the number of churches, which clearly seems more like a business. Hopefield alone, with a population of just over three thousand colored people, is home to more than fifty churches.
In 2014, I decided to establish an organisation with a unique way of working, and it immediately made the necessary impact. We started with a teenage competition, with the condition that all the girls should – after the competition – be available for community programs: and that was a sounding success.
Under the leadership of Tarren Sedeman (Miss Cape Coast Youth), the girls launched several projects. Visits to homes for disabled and the elderly where highlights, gifts were collected and handed over, including a wheel chair at House Helene in Stompneus Bay. The girls also launched various community projects and where regularly involved in team building excursions. Without the necessary financial funding, however, it was sometimes difficult to keep the boat on the water by hand…
We also had to regularly adjust projects because of the funds that simply were not available.
Personally, the “adjustment” (cancellation) of the girls’ visit to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Parow was a big disappointment. (and it still is.) The girls definitely set the platform of exemplary leadership for other girls and boys. At the same time, they left the necessary smile on the faces of the disabled and the elderly. They showed us: It costs very little to give and appreciate.
Watch the first and only video in my lifetime that I made. ( also note, it’s capecoastyouth.org now.)
Some of the girls are still in high school, universities, with Jamie-Lee Papier who joined the police, while Tarren Lee Sedeman is currently studying in the UK. (Britain)
Jealousy, however, is a major headache in our culture, and other girls found it difficult to join this group. A teacher offered to divert girls interested in drumming. So far no one is interested, which is very sad. Hopefield is absolutely not a sport for children to teenagers, or young people. Saldanha Bay Municipality has made the community hall available for free for the purpose, but still no interest. Young daughters to teenagers prefer to be on the streets daily.
It is easy to blame young people for the way the choose to follow…!
Unfortunately, I see it as it is: parents, political leaders and the community as a whole, let the children down.
Unfortunately, Cape Coast Youth’s efforts, without the necessary financial backing, is up to zero.
As they say in Africa…
It takes a whole village to raise a child.
So let’s join hands and make it happen.