NPO plans to turn derelict house into resource centre

Part of the house that a non-profit organisation, Children A’loud, has bought to make into a resource centre for the Ocean View community.

An Ocean View NPO, Children A’loud, has bought a derelict house that it plans to turn into a resource centre for young and old in the community.

Renee Smith is the director of this organisation, which mentors vulnerable children in the area.

Ms Smith says the NPO was launched in 2012 with 23 children and by 2018, more than 300 children were enrolled in the mentorship programme.

The organisation bought the house in late October with the intention of using it for counselling, karate classes, art classes, drumming therapy, a children’s reading corner, craft classes for seniors, sewing classes, academic support and more.

Children A’loud runs two life-skills camps a year for about 30 to 40 children and combines the camps with an environmental programme.

The derelict house, at 18 Draco Way in Ocean View, needs a lot of work to turn it into the flagship resource centre Ms Smith envisages. The house was bought for R400 000, partially with funds from a donor in America and partially with funds from Ms Smith personally.

The organisation is looking for, among other things, eight aluminium windows, tiles, paint, security gates, burglar bars, roof sheets, ceiling boards, batons and rafters, four door frames and doors, an alarm system and driveway gates.

Ms Smith says the organisation is trying to break the cycle of abuse where children are raped before the age of 5 and introduced to drugs by dealers who use them as pawns to perpetuate the drug cycle.

“When these vulnerable children know better they will do better. This is how we build a better South Africa … one community at a time.“

The organisation is applying to the City for permission to build a baseball park on the sports field in Ocean View. The City’s head for recreation for this area, David Curran, is in discussion with Ms Smith regarding the proposed baseball park. The NPO is also looking for funds for a clubhouse and ablution facilities.

Ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock says the community’s sports fields cater only for football, which has the most support there, but over the past five to 10 years there has been growing pressure for rugby, cricket and baseball facilities.

“The area will require some levelling and will also have to cater for some dual usage with football,” Mr Liell-Cock says.

“Expanding the use of the fields to a wider pool of young sports enthusiasts is positive for Ocean View.“

Visit childrenaloud.co.za for more information.