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South Africa Sports Coaching - 500 Youth March Against Crime 


“The  children  are the future”‐ this  is  a statement that  just  cannot  be  disputed.  It  is  always so heart‐ warming  and  hopeful to see  young  people standing  up for what they  believe  in,  particularly  when  it comes to fighting for their rights!

The  young  people  of  the  Nelson  Mandela  Bay  showcased  this  on  the  20th February  2016  as  they participated  in  a  “Youth  March  Against  Violence” to  voice their  concerns  about  all the  violence  and crime happening in their communities.  Towards the end of 2015, United Through Sport, alongside two other  local  NGOs,  started  a  vibrant  and  active  youth  network  to  promote,  develop  and  create opportunities for the youth of Nelson Mandela Bay. The Youth 1st Network and its members used this platform to engage with the local municipality about the unsafe communities the youth live in. This was done in the form of a march where a petition was handed over to a representative of the Mayor.

On that Saturday morning, over 500 youth marched in the streets of the CBD, hoping their voices will be heard.  The  petition  signed  requested  more  visible  policing,  less  tolerance  of  illegal  behaviour,  the erection of fully functional CCTV/cameras to cover the streets and public spaces (which will minimise the need for human witnesses), more protection for eye witnesses of crime, a serious crackdown on gang leaders,  more  community  cooperation  in  bringing  criminals  to  justice  and  a  concentrated  effort  to reduce illegal gun possession, ownership and smuggling.

Leading  up to the  event, the Junior  School  of  Excellence  beneficiaries  at United  Through  Sport spent their life skills and mentoring sessions discussing violence; the causes, results, impact on society as well as  prevention  options.  The  children  are  affected  by  crime  on  a  daily  basis  in their  communities,  and sadly so even in their own homes. The key solution that the beneficiaries came up with to minimizing this issue was education. The children see education and employment as key factors to putting a stop to the crime in their communities.

Being involved in the march and signing the petition made them feel empowered that they can be the change they want to see in their communities. “Holding my poster up, walking with the group gave me the spirit that through my actions I can make a positive change in the world”‐ Anifa, 12 yrs old, United Through Sport Beneficiary

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