Tackling substance abuse among the youth

Organiser of the substance abuse campaign at the Hout Bay Youth Network, Amanda Thethi.

A local organisation has set its sights on tackling issues among youth and will be hosting an event later this month to place the spotlight on substance abuse.

The Hout Bay Youth Network is a registered non-profit organisation, aiming to “serve and lead” the society, particularly young people, assisting with social problems, educational needs and providing opportunities to develop themselves.

Organiser, Amanda Thethi, said their campaigns were based on “empowering and uplifting the young people”.

“Our campaigns are based around substance abuse awareness during the Covid-19 times. It is about the problem of substance abuse we see in our community and it has led to violent crimes, gender based violence and it affects the schooling and entire community of Hout Bay,” Ms Thethi said.

She added that there were lots of temptations for youth, among them the large number of shebeens in the area.

“Children have no role models in our community and we are inviting all organizations that are dealing with youth to come forward and make a difference,” she added.

The Hout Bay Youth Network during another one of their campaigns out in Hout Bay recently.

Also involved with the programme is Imizamo Yethu community leader, Kenny Tokwe, who said the initiative was necessary to get youth back on track.

He explained that the campaign would also focus largely on the abuse of drugs, which had led to many of the “violent crimes” in the community, affecting schools and other areas as well.

“There are lots of temptations out there to our kids. Some of the homes are child-headed and many of these children have no role models and this can lead to a whole host of things,“ Mr Tokwe said.

He called on other organisations and sporting clubs to join them in their efforts to fight substance abuse among the youth.

“The Hout Bay Network Forum is spearheading the campaign as it is interested on building a better future for the community,” he added.

“Through education awareness it can breathe peace and open eyes to children to have many options that will distract them away from wrongs.”

Ms Thethi encouraged other organisations to join forces with their upcoming programme to provide further guidance to youth.

The Hout Bay Youth Network will host its substance abuse awareness event on Thursday April, 29 at Iziko Lobomi, from 10am until 1pm. Due to lockdown level 1 restrictions, they are able to accommodate about 70 people with other stakeholders from local government, police and other community organisations.

To attend or support the campaign, contact Ms Thethi on 078 548 5305, Unathi Majali on 073 717 1167 or Sivuyiseni Buhlungu on 078 426 6112 or email HBYN2017@gmail.com