Yes, there’s little to celebrate, but we shall overcome
I am still on cloud nine after all the birthday wishes I received on Monday. I am blessed with people in my life who genuinely care about me. And with them by my side, I am looking forward to what lies ahead of me in the 48th year of my life.
On Friday evening Youth Solutions Africa held their first Miss Shelter and the event was filled with fun. This shelter started a few years back with about eight people.
Today there are around 70 people living here. Male and female. People who move from the streets, manage to get work and then find their own place.
The challenge is high rentals. It is impossible to get a place of your own so most people end up sharing or live in a commune.
Last week Mark Williams and his team from the Central City Improvement District were working with some of the street children near Green Market Square. I was touched by the way they dealt with these kids. The trust they build. The humanity of it all.
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These kids are complex, broken and had to endure what children never should endure. Little ones who have to fend for themselves. The streets are no joke. It is hostile, dangerous and one can trust almost nobody. But the kids responded well to Mr Williams and his team.
To restore a life of a child who has been on the streets is maybe one of the biggest challenges we could face.
Children are our future. We need to invest in them. There too many with broken homes, shattered dreams and almost no hope for a better tomorrow.
I know the people of Cape Town care. But as I walk to work this morning I see people all stressed out. The situation with our trains - always late or cancelled - is taking its toll.
We have to deal with so many issues which are completely a result of others not doing their jobs! By the time most commuters eventually arrive at work, they are drained, stressed out and the last thing they can do is concentrate to do a productive day's work.
They worry about their children going to school. It costs more to make use of other transport since most buy monthly or weekly tickets. So we really have little time to consider others in need.
And running out of water is no joke either. People who lovingly nurtured a garden now have to watch how plants die due to water restrictions. I reckon by the end of the year nothing is going to be festive.
Nobody is going to be in the mood to celebrate a new year, knowing it is going to be so tough. But here is the thing: in all this madness, we will rise above. It is in our nature.
One thing Capetonians have is guts. And attitude. The show called life must go on. And it will.
* Danny Oosthuizen, #TheDignityProject ambassador, in his weekly column for the Cape Argus tackles the struggles homeless people face.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.