Children help design their Bonteheuwel

The children used yellow triangles to show the streets, red huts for the houses, and big and small blue circles to indicate big and small trees.

The Bonteheuwel Central Business District (CBD) Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme (MURP) is well under way and ready for phase 2 which will focus on landscaping and design.

In phase 1 of the CBD MURP project, a boundary fence was erected and the main building in the CBD was revamped. (“Bonteheuwel CBD upgrade well under way”, Athlone News, April 14)

In preparation for phase 2, young people from Bonteheuwel had the opportunity to participate in the the design of the CBD. They used shapes, pasted on to a white chart, to illustrate what they thought Bonteheuwel should look like. This will be placed on the library wall in the CBD.

Community worker Priscilla Green who got the youngsters together for the project, said the children had thoroughly enjoyed it. She explained that they used yellow triangles for the street, red huts for the houses, and big and small blue circles to indicate big and small trees.

“The children really enjoyed themselves and are proud to be able to take part in this,“ she said.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie, said it was interesting to see the children’ vision for the CBD. Youth will also design a tiled mural of the Bonteheuwel area on the wall of the Freedom Square.

The mural will also include inspirational words and drawings, which those involved hope will become become a tourist attraction.

Mr Mckenzie said it was important to have this in the CBD so that the the children would feel a sense of ownership and enjoy this space once it was completed.

“That is the most important part of this entire project, is the ownership that residents are taking of this space. Bonteheuwel is rebuilding Bonteheuwel. Ownership and taking care of things is taking place. It is important to explore the minds of young people and see where their talent lays,” he said.

The children had to use the shapes to outline Bonteheuwel on a chart.

Chairman of the Community of Bonteheuwel Association, Abie Clayton, said he was happy that the project was progressing and that involving the children showed them that their input was important.

“As they grow up they can also say ’this is what I did.’ It is a good thing that they are doing and it will make the CBD look more attractive,” he said.