Cape Town - The youth of Wesbank are expressing their feelings through arts and culture after community organisation Balls Not Guns recently established a programme solely dedicated for this reason.
Apostle Gloria Veale, the founder of Balls Not Guns said the idea was born seven months ago when she heard so many of the youth stories while attending to their feeding needs.
“Seven months ago we worked in Manenberg, Parkwood and Wesbank where we put on showcases allowing the younger people to tell their stories through art, with South Roots International.
“We also had the older folk come out and educate the children about the community.
“Wesbank then decided to take it a bit further and continue the initiative in the area giving kids a safe platform for them to express their feelings,” Gloria said.
She added that the youth have come forward and said they are not heard.
“So we give them an outlet to tell their stories of pain and communicate,” she said.
Gloria explained that the ball is a symbol of continuous unity, peace and friendship, while also incorporating arts, culture and sports.
“This helps build character. It’s about expression in their unique way, and we all know you just give them a beat and the rest is history.
“Our future depends on what we do now,” she said.
Veale has called on authorities, religious groups and activists to collaborate.
“We need to take our communities back, we can’t sit by and bury child after child, it’s really too much, our true heroes live at the Cape Flats,” she said.
The group currently has close to 20 participants with community activist Lindie Jacobs and 72-year-old Sylvia Prins leading the pack.
Lindie said she will do everything in her power to keep the programme going.
“I hope this branches into other communities. It’s what our children need, proper support, and just one day with at least two hours of our time,” she said.
Lindie said anyone is welcome to join them at the Abundant Living Ministries Church in Wesbank on Fridays.