CapeNature and SAPS tackle crime in local townships
CapeNature, in partnership with Nyanga South African Police Service (SAPS) hosted a year-long Youth Leadership programme tackling social challenges faced by young boys residing in Nyanga and Philippi.
The Nyanga Youth Leadership programme recruits young boys between the ages 13 and 15-years’ who are in grades six and seven from Hlengisa Primary School, Liwa Primary School and Bongolethu Primary School, in the surrounding areas.
The programme included activities such as school outreach, awareness on leadership and communication and workshops on substance abuse, with 25 boys graduating from the programme.
The aim of the programme is to use a proactive nature to help guide those that are vulnerable, to realign their minds to the correct way of thinking says, Nyanga SAPS Domestic Violence Coordinator, Constable Marelda Abrahams.
“I returned to the police in 2015, and was placed there as a domestic violence coordinator, so I did research. Nyanga was the murder capital at that time, I thought the police were always reactive, and suggested we do something that is of a proactive nature and I looked at those that are still vulnerable.”
“In my research I also found that the grade six and seven boys were becoming very ill disciplined and the teachers and principals were crying out “Please we can’t do what we are supposed to do!” So this project came about. I started this project with the hope to change the anti-social behaviour of the boys of Nyanga, Philippi and also to have the effect of change agents.”
With Nyanga being labelled as the most violent capital, Constable Abrahams adds that it was important to expose the boys to anger management skills, leadership camps, awareness on issues related to trauma, communication skills, abuse and nature.
“We were trying to create a positive environment, away from what they experience daily and show them that there are different sides to life, including nature, where they instantly fell in love.”
CapeNature came on board to help the boys enjoy nature, including hikes and learn more about the Black Eagle cave, flora and fauna and camp at De Hoop Nature Reserve.
The Nyanga Youth Leadership programme is a partnership between Nyanga SAPS, local schools (Liwa Primary School, Hlengisa Primary School and Bongolethu Primary School), CESVI Foundation, Sizakuyenza, Department of Social Development (Philippi), South African Human Rights Commission and Hotel Verde.