The Hazendal United Football Club held a march through Bokmakierie last Thursday, June 16, in commemoration of Youth Day.
Children and parents walked in the cold, rainy weather to create awareness about the challenges facing the youth of Bokmakierie.
The march started at Hazendal crèche, in Bokmakierie Street, and proceeded through the avenues starting at 15th Avenue, until they reached the field in 1st Avenue, where the rest of the event continued with food stalls, music, sport and entertainment.
Organiser Walter Daniels said the idea for the march came about when they saw a need to use the field for recreational purposes.
“It was a community initiative to use the march to attract people to the field. We’ve started planning the march back in April, and depended on donations from the community, and the goodwill of people.
“The message we are trying to get across is that the youth must realise that by making the right choices they can change their lives. We are trying to promote positivity, that there is an alternative to drugs and crime. But the youth on the Cape Flats don’t see the other side of life because it is not presented to them,” said Mr Daniels.
Chairperson of the Hazendal United Football Club, Grant Meyer, said the event was important to host so that the youth are able to understand the struggle of the past.
“Bokmakierie is a very small place but the community is very divided. We try to host events like these to bring the community together. Raising funds for the event has been difficult especially with the tough times we are in, so the support has been a bit difficult, but most of the community are on board. We want the community to stand as one,” said Mr Meyer.
Resident Jane Maneveldt, who is also the junior chairperson of the football club, was one of the volunteers who cooked for the event. She said Youth Day is important because South Africa has come a long way since 1976.
“It is important for the youth to remember what we went through to become what we are today. We are trying our best to curb crime, and gangsterism, and the way our kids are drifting into gangsterism. Every Friday we corner off the streets and our youth come and play sport. We also give them a snack before they leave,” said Ms Maneveldt.
Mr Daniels said the event was successful.
“We reached out to many people, and had lots of support from the community, and the City of Cape Town,” he said.
“We want the community to support each event we have because that is the only way we will bring about change in the area,” he added.