"If you ask a child from an area that’s gangster- and poverty-stricken his or her hopes and dreams, they would tell you that it is to still be alive," writes Faseegah Rossie. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African 
News Agency (ANA)
If you ask a child who lives in an area that is blessed enough to be gangster-free what his or her hopes and dreams are for the future, they would say that they’d want to be a doctor or lawyer or journalist.

If you ask a child from an area that’s gangster- and poverty-stricken and drug-infested and violent, for example, a child from Hanover Park, he or she would tell you that their hopes and dreams for the future are to still be alive.

Yes, our hopes and dreams are to be successful, however, our oppressive circumstances limit us.

People go on and on about how we should use our background to rise, but tell me, how do you rise if you’re too afraid to get up in the morning to go to school for fear of being shot?

It’s time to instil peace in our communities. The only way that will happen is if we all work together as one.

People are afraid. Our mothers are suffering in silence while they bury their young.

Being a Peace Ambassador really opened my eyes when it comes to how we can bring about peace and change in simple and ordinary ways.

In order to get peace, we need to be peaceful. That way we can spread peace.

If you think about our situation long enough, it’s really not that difficult to drive gangsterism out of our communities.

Starting with the youth who are more vulnerable to be influenced - if we motivate them to make something out of their lives, I’m sure there wouldn’t be place for gangsterism.

Nelson Mandela once said: “If you want peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” It’s time to reconcile and work with our enemies.

With the help of the Almighty and hopes of an unseen bullet not having my name on it; my dream is to pass matric, study further and make something of my life so that I can give back to my Hanover Park.

* Faseegah Rossie, Peace Ambassador Hanover Park.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus