The Hout Bay sports and recreation centre was abuzz with activities organised by the United Apostolic Faith Ministries (UAFM) in Imizamo Yethu during a drug awareness programme over Easter.
For many, Easter is a time of celebration when families get to- gether and memories are made, but, for some, it is a time of gloom underscored with the reality of being lonely and hungry.
But this year, Pastor Manuel Purazi of the UAFM changed that with a holiday programme to educate the youth about drug and alcohol abuse and teach them life skills.
The Zero Alcohol programme ran for 12 days, from Monday March 21 to Saturday April 2, in partnership with the provincial Department of Community Safety.
Pastor Purazi said the UAFM came up with the idea because of the high level of drug and alcohol abuse in Imizamo Yethu.
Many youngsters dropped out of school because of drugs, which were freely available in the neighbourhood, and turned to gangsterism and crime, he said.
Hout Bay Cares, a drug rehabilitation centre in Hangberg; the Hout Bay police and community police forum (CPF) as well as performance arts teachers from Silikamva High School, among others, took part in the programme.
“Hout Bay Cares did an amazing powerful presentation with strong images, and it really got the message across.
“The presentation done by Warrant Officer Tanya Lesch from Hout Bay SAPS also had a strong message,” said Pastor Purazi.
The programme was open to young people of all ages – some were as young as 10, some as old as 30.
“On average, we managed to register about 120 youngsters every day, and everyone was welcome.”
The activities included beading, and Likho Dukiso’s handiwork landed him R150 when he won first prize with his South African flag made from beads.
Luyanda Kuzwayo took the second prize while Anita Mafume took the third prize.
“This made the children realise that they can work with their hands and earn a living that way,” said Pastor Purazi.
The young people were also taken on hikes around Hout Bay and introduced to lifesavers at the Hout Bay beach who spoke to them about beach safety.
For information about the next programme, call Pastor Purazi at 021 791 0984.