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Children are our investment in the future – but all too often they are forgotten in the priorities of the present, and worse, made vulnerable by the actions of adults. Young people are susceptible to neglect, hunger, trauma, abuse, violence, illiteracy, trafficking and drug use. Let alone various health conditions such as tuberculosis, drug dependence and HIV/AIDS.
This is global, but that does not make it any less significant when it is happening in our neighbourhood, when we can see it in front of our eyes. As referenced in the recent article, Don’t Feed the Children, which sparked heated debate and revealed a huge disparity of response,
In common, however, was a feeling of helplessness. Every proposed solution had a counter balance (eg – money for after school programmes for the wayward kids means less funding for support for the kids with similar social problems who are attending school and staying out trouble). Reward and Punishment seem to be the main themes – but are there other ways?
Government funded educational programmes and privately sponsored initiatives need to work together for a common cause and end goal. Sometimes there are too many good hearted, well meaning organisations who fight for the same funding, and whose different approaches muddy the water – clarity of aim and method, simplicity and an unwavering focus is of the utmost importance.
Sometimes one person, a key driver, can make the difference. Recently Andre Marais set up an NPO in Swellendam called Urban Intervention. The original plan was to provide support for people dealing with addiction and gender based violence. It became evident that the passion and dedication of this man, whose personal experience and history has given him the tools to work on problems from the root, was something that was really needed to get things moving and changing.
The aim is to
· Address the health and social consequences for children
· Prevent drug use
· Treat drug dependence
· Facilitate their re-integration and contribution to the larger community.
Andre is looking for help from local businesses. This is surely something that will be perceived by the whole community as a huge step in the right direction – it’s just a once-off sponsorship but what a difference it could make!
Please see the details below as to how your business, or you as an individual, can become involved and support in this project.
Here are Andres contact details should you wish to contact him directly and find out more
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