The Darul Aqeeda Madrassa, a non-profit organisation which has three madrassas in Bonteheuwel, is running a holiday programme for children during the winter school break.
Mu-eenah Charles, the administrator of the madrassa, said it was important to keep children off the streets during the school holidays and that while the area had been quiet during Ramadaan, gang violence had since flared up again.
The programme caters for 100 children a day, and is held every year in the June and December holidays.
This year she said, they were making use of different venues to keep the programme exciting for the children.
Last Wednesday they kicked off with a soccer and netball tournament at Modderdam High School and on Thursday, with cycling at Bergsig Primary School.
Ms Charles said this year’s programme focuses on educating children about safety in light of recent crimes committed against children in the Western Cape.
She said they also wanted to instil discipline and respect for each other, in the children.
“We also want our children to build friendships through the programmes so that if they see each other doing wrong in the streets, they can guide each other. We are trying our best to get to where we want to be with our kids,” she said.
She encouraged parents to send their children to the programme, saying: “We are doing this for our children not for ourselves because we don’t benefit. We are offering our time for their children so they must send their kids,” she said.
Hammaad Jeppe, 13, from Bonteheuwel, said he was excited to have fun during the holidays. “I like playing soccer with my friends and I am very happy to be here,” he said.
Jamie Field, a 15-year-old athlete, also from Bonteheuwel, said he was excited to help out with the training of the children and assist in the programmes. “Usually my holiday is packed with athletic training so I am happy to be here and assist today and get the children interactive with sports,” he said.