Crossroads youth organisation Ikamva Labantwana Bethu has vowed to create a culture of self-reliance by providing deserving children from the community with an opportunity for extra lessons in critical subjects.
The community is plagued by crime, drugs, and gangs and is often overlooked for meaningful community initiatives.
Teenage pregnancy also adds to the challenges faced by the community, the organisation says.
To address some of these issues, Ikamva Labantwana recently started offering classes to assist pupils in maths and other subjects.
The organisation helps young people deal with social issues, which often lead to crime and while addressing fears of crime and perceptions of unsafe environments.
Siviwe Dlukwana, founder and director of the organisation, said they focused on young people at school, but allowed those with nothing to do, to get involved as well.
He said he was happy to give back to the community.
Some of their programmes include high school placement, bursary assistance, maths, science and English lessons, and teaching children how to be good and responsible citizens.
“We seek to change young people’s behaviour,” he said.
“With the assistance of our tutors, we provide all sorts of programmes including crime prevention, and programmes for youth and young adults.
“We also run workshops on youth against crime, teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse and we help them with school work,” he said.
Mr Dukwana wanted the young people they helped to go back to their communities and become activists against crime.
“We ought to deal with crime in unison.
“Our areas are crime riddled and they need us to clean it up,” he concluded.
Aluta Poswa said he has been through the programme and is now a tutor. He encouraged young people to actively participate in initiatives to root out crime, and young people needing help should visit the centre.
“As young people, we need to collaborate in creating social crime prevention strategies for their communities,” he said.
“I believe that we have all the needed resources to stop crime.
“We should do something so that we do not see ourselves doing what we are not suppose d to do.
“I have gained confidence through attending here. I could not speak publicly, but I am now a better person who also help sothers.”
Mandy Dyasi, an intern for the organisation, said she saw the need to help young people from her area, explaining that her job was to assist young people to improve their performance in maths and English.
Tutor Sibusiso Mbesane said he felt privileged to work with young people from his area and to plough back into the community.
“To plant a seed in my community makes me happier.
To be able to tell them that they need to be confident and that they can make it in life excites me,” he said.
“We are a team that is really giving back.
“I am super proud of the guys here.”
* Visit the organisation at the old Crossroads Library located on the corner of Govan Mbeki Road and Intsikizi Street or call 021 838 1065.