We need a plan to help the youth

Johann Kikillus, Ocean View Care Centre, Ocean View

With the new year upon us, we need to put together a plan to help our youth. Over the past nine years working in Ocean View, I have noted that the most vulnerable age group is between 12 and 25 years old.

More recently we have seen a growing number of individuals “falling off the wagon”.

Most disturbing is the number of youth that I have personally dealt with who have become hooked on drugs, joined gangs, become shooters or, most tragically, been killed.

The beginning of the year is the best time to address these issues. I propose a plan be put in place to ensure that
not one single individual in this age group becomes another statistic.

In order for this to happen, we first need to determine who has not returned to school this past week. We need to find out who is currently using drugs and who is engaging in an irresponsible lifestyle.

Often families
that find themselves with such children need additional support.

We need to find out how many young women are pregnant and whether they have all the support that they need. I am sure there are many other issues that need to be addressed.

I would therefore like to start the year with a public meeting in Ocean View, where we discuss all these issues and put forward a working plan that will reach every corner of the community.

Everyone who has
an interest in helping our youth is invited to attend and give input. This will not be a platform to blame government or anyone else.

The primary focus will be on being proactive. At the end of the day, our young people’s lives depend on it. I would be most grateful for the free use of a hall for this meeting.

Interested parties are welcome to contact me at johann@soteriaministries.org.za.