‘Words are more powerful than taking things into your own hands’

From left members of the NPO, Aretha Tshabalala, Lucky Mhlanga and Banele Ngidi.

Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) African Dream Children and Youth Development Project is inviting Protea North and Naledi residents to their Fun Walk to take place on Freedom Day next week.

The NPO wants to walk to address issues and to bring awareness on safety in the community and HIV/AIDS.

Vice secretary of the NPO Aretha Tshabalala said, “We want our community to be free of all negativity, free from drugs, free from abuse, free from peer pressure, that’s why we chose Freedom Day to host the walk.”

The organisation’s mandate is uplifting the youth and children in various ways, addressing social ills, making sure that youths don’t get trapped in substance abuse, crime and so forth.

Lucky Mhlanga, the Deputy Chairperson said, “We are not a new organisation, we’ve been around for two years and we have a group of children that we work with.

“We want to grow with this, so we are able to go to schools and encourage children to join us in new ways of thinking.”

Tshabalala brought attention to the fact that, in the olden days, it was easy for youths to indulge in sports to keep them busy, but this has evolved into something else as youths find other ways to occupy their spare time.

“These days youths are easily exposed to the wrong crowds and we want to change that.”

Roughly the organisation caters for 50+ youths who are currently addressing their problems through movement and dance, but they want to expand and involve all spheres in the arts such as poetry, acting and the like.

“It’s not only police’s responsibility to address it, but we as residents need to address this issue by finding ways to talk to youths instead of corporal punishment,” said Mhlanga.

After schools, there are group discussions that focus on a topic a day concerning social ills that affect the community.

The walk will have a 3km (ideally for kids) and 5 km (ideally for adults) sections and registrations are still open.

“We have been working with the youth to prepare for it and we encourage family participation as a team to have bonding sessions,” said Tshabalala.

Fliers will be all around Protea North today and Naledi extension 2, residents are encouraged to keep their eyes open for them.

If residents don’t see any of the fliers they can contact Lucky on 074 91 73980 or Banele on 0718054224 or email him on [email protected] for bookings.

“It’s important for us to allow our kids to participate in positive activities, so we are pleading with parents to please be encouraged to do so we can inspire youths minds to think outside of the box,” said Mhlanga.

Parents are welcome to volunteer their time at the NPO to add value to the work it already is doing.

The walk will start at the Naledi Sports Grounds in extension 2 at 7 am and will go on Protea North.

Sphindile Mbatha

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