Safe space for Ocean View’s children need community support

There is now another safe option for the children of Ocean View. It will require input and buy-in from the community to thrive, but Johann Kikillus of Soeteria Ministries has decided to turn the Ocean View Care Centre into a place of safety.

He said he had engaged in many discussions with parents and children about the wave of violence crippling the community and the one thing that kept coming up was the safety of children while their parents were at work.

“I have witnessed at the one business in Heron Park that every time a vehicle with a siren drove past, the staff started to panic. It is clear to me that many people have been severely traumatised by recent events over the past six months,” Mr Kikillus said.

“The safety of our children always needs to be prioritised. In the news we have noted that not a week goes by without a child being murdered and raped in Cape Town.”

He said due to this extraordinary state of affairs, he had decided to turn the Ocean View Care Centre into a “place of safety” over the next few months, until schools close for December.

“We will still be continuing our usual programmes and services, but the safety of children during office hours will be prioritised.

“This should hopefully give parents peace of mind while they work,” he said.

He said several containers had been turned into make shift classrooms already so pupils could do their homework.

The “place of safety” can only work well with the help of volunteers, though, and this is what Mr Kikillus is appealing for community support.

“An extra bonus would be people who can tutor in maths and other subjects, as many pupils indicated that they were struggling,” he said.

Also needed are people who can give the kids and volunteers decent lunches and snacks.

“I am approaching government to hear what assistance they can offer as well,” he said.

Mr Kikillus has an intimate working knowledge of the area.

He has spent 15 years doing community work, which has included a whole range of different issues particularly around safety, social development, education and upliftment.

He has founded two NPOs: Soteria Ministries and Social Transformation Forum. At the beginning of 2015, he co-founded Ocean View Care Centre, which has already reached out to hundreds of people, and he has chaired the community police forum, a school governing body and sat on a ward committee for four years.

During the mornings, Mr Kikillus would like to see all school drop-outs and suspended pupils come to the centre.

“From 1pm all pupils who have nowhere to go or who are in empty homes, can come wait here,” he said.

Anybody who is interested in making this possible can contact Mr Kikillus: johann@
soteriaministries.org.za or find them Social Transformation Forum on Facebook.

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