PICS: Manenberg kids driving force behind Taking Back our Children campaign
Cape Town – Five years in the making, Manenberg children have now taken the reins from their mothers, assuming leadership roles and working to inspire others to remain off the streets.
They are now in charge of the Taking Back our Children campaign, which was launched five years ago by women who pledged to expose children to better ways of life through community involvement.
Now renamed the Manenberg Children's Movement, campaign leader Amelia September said the children at the helm were organising their own events such as soccer matches and modelling contests.
The women still provided a large mentoring role, and oversaw the children's accomplishments, she said.
At Colleen Court yesterday, hundreds of children gathered to mark the campaign's anniversary. There was a DJ, live band and entertainment – all made possible by the children.
Muizz Louw, 11, who has assumed the role of MC at events for three years, said it was all about encouraging children to be the best versions of themselves.
“I talk to people about the programme and help children. It's all about having fun while learning, it's great to participate,” he said.
His grandmother and movement co-ordinator Camilla Henry said she was incredibly proud of him. He is doing so well and he enjoys it,” she said.
The Manenberg Children's Movement had moved from strength to strength, September said, having continuously co-ordinated potjiekos competitions, sports programmes including soccer and netball practices, gardening initiatives and arts and culture events like singing and dancing lessons. They are, however, in need of musical instruments and sports equipment.
The annual modelling competition is also a big hit, she said.
Co-ordinator Gloria Veale said that further campaigns such as the Balls Not Guns initiative was much needed in the area.
“We need to show the children a new way of life, a life of peace and friendship. Historically our community is filled with violence, we need peace,” Veale said.
September said plans were afoot to establish a nannies programme to educate teenage moms and young pregnant girls about how to care for their children.
They are also looking to expand their learning initiative to help children with academic work.
Should you with to assist in any way, contact September on 067 154 0040.