Event to educate and empower

Suzette Farmer, spokesperson for Muizenberg SAPS Museum

With all the negative social behaviour in Ocean View, and with headlines in our local community papers “Talks about Trauma” and “Not enough done to stop the violence in Ocean View”, the CAB (Christilike Afhanlikheids Bediening – in English: Christian Dependency Ministry Group of the Uniting Reformed Church),Ocean View, initiated a drug and alcohol awareness event last weekend in conjunction with Breaking Barriers, SAPS Education Museum Muizenberg, Disaster Management Fish Hoek, and Social Development.

The event took place from Friday November 3 to Sunday November 5, starting off with a “Koffie kroeg and games evening” on the Friday night.

Saturday we had a peace walk from Ocean View, with the Fresh Start Cycling Club in their black and yellow cycling tops leading the procession and the New Guiding Stars Band accompanying us to the church hall.

Disaster Management Fish Hoek and SAPS’ mounted unit (with the horses) were part of the procession. During the awareness programme, the mounted police made a drug arrest in Ocean View. At the Uniting Reformed Church Hall, we had various educational exhibition tables set up in the church hall.

Considering the high number of crimes that Ocean View experiences every year, I believe that this event was a vital healing process, and with the recent shootings and drug and alcohol abuse in our area, people could interact with the stakeholders.

All those involved – Breaking Barriers, AA, Alanon, Disaster Management Fish Hoek, Living Hope, Valley Support Group, Kids are Kids, Y-Wise, SAPS Education Museum Muizenberg, SAPS Bomb Explosive Unit, Valley Development Social Work Project, SAPS Mounted Police, SACBC field workers and Adult Support Counselling Centre – had exhibition tables where they could tell the community more about what they do. Also among them
was Abduraghiem De Klerk, the coach of Fresh Start Cycling Club who said that, through cycling, he was doing everything he could to keep the youth off the streets and away from crime.

He was an addict for 20 years and in recovery for 14 years. He never went to a rehab therefore he encouraged and motivated the youth to “choose life”.

It was heartwarming to see how the children interacted with the officials at the tables. The highlight of the day for the children was the SAPS horses, being fingerprinted, building fire engines and face painting. The group Y-Wise and St Claire’s Spiritual Dancers were also part of the programme.

A candle was lit to think back on all the victims of the shootings in Ocean View and to lead the way to a world free of drugs and alcohol.

The event was well attended by the community.

The focus of the event was to make the youth in Ocean View aware of the challenges about the social ills such as gangsterism, drugs and alcohol abuse and to educate and empower them with resource material and pamphlets.

The CAB of the Uniting Reformed Church Ocean View, had a display table at the expo showcasing their role in the church and the community.