NPO launches project to make Manenberg safer

Cape Town - 310713 - File image. Manenberg is a township of Cape Town, that was created by the apartheid government for low-income Coloured families in the Cape Flats in 1966 as a result of the forced removal campaign by the National Party. The area over the years has become overcrowded and living conditions problematic with a high incidence of crime, gang activity and social disturbance emerging. The area consists of rows of semi-detached houses and project-like flats. The township is located about 20 km away from the city centre of Cape Town. It is separated from neighbouring Nyanga and Gugulethu townships by a railway line to the east and from Hanover Park to the west and Heideveld to the north. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency

A non-profit organisation (NPO) which does violence prevention workshops through sport, has launched a programme called Building Safer Communities in Manenberg.

Arise Community Development Project Operations started in 2003, and was registered as Cape Flats Soccer Development at the time. In 2010, it joined the Arise Business Sector and Training, and underwent a name-change.

Chairperson Sadick da Silva said his organisation has been active across 12 communities over the years, from Langa to Khayelitsha.

They also did a collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Youth Development Through Sport.

“From 2012 to 2015, we did extensive work with the community of Laingsburg, doing violence prevention through sport. What we are currently doing is two-fold. The one is youth development through sport, and the other is the training and registration of co-operatives and we also assist small businesses with registration. So far, we have assisted 50 co-operatives in the Western Cape.

The project we launched in Manenberg is called Building Safer Communities. It’s a three-year project. We did not want to do a short-term pilot project, as that would not be effective in monitoring and evaluating. We also can’t do this without the relevant stakeholders,” Mr Da Silva said.

He explained that their role is to train non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and to give them the equipment and sports gear they need to run the programme with young people.

“The idea is to form a network, as we cannot do this for everybody. We want to be a resource centre. We want to empower some of the youth to become coaches and earn a stipend. We have already identified five NGOs which we will assist with sport equipment. There is no fee attached to be part of the partnership, however, there is a screening process. We don’t want the equipment to be used by clubs. “There are so many youngsters on the street who are not part of a formal structure, and they are the ones we are targeting. Many years ago, teams from community centres used to play against each other, and the idea is to bring that back – like street soccer,” Mr Da Silva said.

He also said that the sport will not be limited to soccer, and that the manual being used for this programme is designed to identify every sector’s needs and challenges.

Among the many success stories of Arise, is its work in Laingsburg. By the time they left the area, a Local Football Association (LFA) was started and today the sport is fully-fledged and part of the South African Football Association (SAFA).

Mr Da Silva also pointed out that their programme, Building Safer Communities, was endorsed by government in its 2016 White Paper. Mr Da Silva himself, has more than 40 years of training experience. He is a licensed football and life skills coaching instructor and registered assessor for all sporting codes.

“I am from Manenberg, and I am well aware of the challenges. Our children are also affected. This programme is all about making the right, informed choices. So many children are not part of the formal structures. They don’t have club fees, and so who is catering for them? This is where our programme comes in. Let’s rather bring the games to them,” Mr Da Silva added.

He has appealed to the private sector, to sports outlets and anyone who can assist, to help them in their quest. If you can help, contact Mr Da Silva at 079 479 2521.