VPUU projects get a German injection

German Consul General Matthias Hansen handed over sports equipment to members of the community.

German Consul General Matthias Hansen has praised members of the Monwabisi Park Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) for bringing hope, ambition and empowerment to impoverished areas.

Mr Hansen visited two Monwabisi VPUU projects in Endlovini informal settlement, which are joint initiatives between the German government and the City of Cape Town, on Wednesday November 1. During his visit, Mr Hansen said his government supported the investment made in the townships and was committed to sustaining the projects.

VPUU has been addressing the spatial and historic divide faced by the communities in the province.

The project was established in 2005 to transform apartheid dormitories into sustainable neighbourhoods through a range of urban improvements and social interventions.

Representatives of the German Embassy used the KhombiSA van to visit different VPUU facilities in Khayelitsha and handed over a donation of sports equipment for local football and netball teams.

“We are happy to have been part of the City of Cape Town in transforming apartheid dormitories into safe havens. From the onset our aim was to create urban spaces where people can live in peace. We want to reduce crime and provide happiness. We are happy to see how these facilities work and the work done by the volunteers. We will continue to support these initiatives,” Mr Hansen said.

Emthonjeni Early Childhood Development teacher Nomathemba Dake thanked the Germans for their generosity.

She said they were now able to take children whose parents could not afford to pay for fees and educate and stimulate them free.

“We also transfer skills to their parents so that the parents are able to teach them at home. We show them how to do things even if they do not have all the necessary equipment.

“We also do home visits and help them at their homes at times,” she said, adding that the centre was committed to improving the lives of young people in the area.

Netball volunteer coach Phileka Jayiya added that the presence of the VPUU in Khayelitsha had been helpful to many young people and that she had joined VPUU to impact positively on people’s lives.

“I am part of the coaching staff. I do it freely because I want to reduce crime and try to stop early teenage pregnancy.

“I do all this for the love of children. I believe we all have a role to play in changing the country’s image. But most importantly is to occupy young people’s minds,” she said.

VPUU executive for support services, Wendy Arendse, said the new VPUU community buildings comprise a library, live-work units with mixed residential and business opportunities, and many smaller shops and trading spaces.