Youth members of the Academy for Growing Exemplary Men and Madams (AGEM) – an initiative run by Ihata Shelter for Abused Women and Children, took to the streets of Manenberg on Friday December 1 to form a human chain and to make their voices heard against gender-based violence.
The initiative forms part of Ihata Shelter’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, and was held outside Manenberg police station, along Klipfontein Road. The protest was attended by AGEM members, Manenberg police Victim Support Room volunteers, Ihata Shelter residents and Manenberg residents. The group also received enthusiastic support from passing motorists who hooted loudly to add their voices to end violence against women and children.
The 16 Days of Activism is an international awareness campaign which takes place every year for 16 days from November 25 to December 10. The campaign focuses on generating an increased awareness on the negative impact that violence and abuse has on women and children, and our society. This year’s theme is “Count me in: Together moving a non-violent South Africa forward.”
AGEM, aimed at vulnerable youth at risk of violence, drugs and gangsterism on the Cape Flats, focuses on developing young men and women to be physically, mentally and emotionally strong. The programme teaches them that they have a voice and that it should be used to stand up and speak out against injustice in their communities.