Mfuleni residents, children and youth were honoured when Afrika Tikkun held a Child and Youth Development (CYD) awards ceremony on Saturday November 10.
Style and glamour were the order of the day as parents, community members and children gathered at the premises of the organisation in Mfuleni to attend the ceremony. Excitement, applause and tears of joy filled the hall.
A total of 30 young people were awarded, as well as community members who play an active role in the development of children.
Some of the categories included best in academics, best young leader and best sportsman or sportswoman. The awards ceremony was aimed at celebrating achievers and encouraging the youth, parents and community to take children and youth development more seriously.
Co-ordinator at Afrika Tikkun, Shirley Tshwale, said they also wanted those who are not attending the after-school classes to realise its importance and register for it.
She said child and youth development goes beyond the classroom. She said they realised the importance of celebrating the current young people and parents who were committed to the development of youth. She hoped the celebration would encourage them to keep performing well in school while being responsible young people.
“We are serious about our young people’s future; we aim to ensure that every young person that sets foot in any of our centres is enabled to become economically empowered. This was just another way of showing how serious we are. “We take the development of children seriously. This is the very first time for the awards and it will continue annually,” she said. Ms Tshwale said in two weeks’ time their youth would go on a parade in the community to bring awareness to the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. This, she said, forms part of their internal and long-term campaign called Memeza Bazokuzwa.
Asabela Mkhumbuzi walked away with the award for best in academics. The 16-year-old Grade 9 pupil from Mfuleni High School, said she was grateful that she won an award and did not expect it.
She said this proves that when one works extremely hard their efforts are recognised. She said she plans to use her winning mentality to influence her peers to focus on their studies. Representative of JAG Foundation, Marshal Moiloa, said they assist Afrika Tikkun in sports-related activities. He said it was important that parents support their children and encourage them to be involved in sport, which plays a vital role in the development of the child. He said an idle mind is the devil’s playground.