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Preserving family life in Helderberg

The Amakhaya Families First organisation is currently implementing a family preservation project within the community of Strand and greater Helderberg.

“The aim of the project is to strengthen family bonds and to equip parents with skills to prevent their children being placed in alternative care or getting involved in crime and anti-social behaviour,” explains member Brendyn Alloys, adding that the community of Strand is experiencing a high rate of alcohol and drug abuse, unemployment, teenage pregnancies, school dropouts, street children, gang- and domestic violence.

“Since March 2017, the organisation has been facilitating community-based interventions in Strand. The objective is to build resiliency within these families, so to prevent these children from getting involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Alloys says the programme also serves as a form of social crime prevention and a psychosocial support programme to prevent youths from getting involved in drugs, crime, anti-social behaviour, and to reduce the high rate of school dropouts in the community

On Saturday 31 October, facilitators visited the youths of Bright Lights Child and Youth Care Centre in Somerset West. Board members and volunteers interacted and spent quality time with the children and also prepared a delicious snoek braai with sweet potatoes for the children and staff of the centre.

“The purpose of our visits to Bright Lights was to provide ongoing support to the children and young people, including the staff, to build community-based relationships with them and prepare them for successful social reintegration into communities and with their families,” says Alloys.

Furthermore, he adds, that board members and volunteers gained plenty of insight and understanding about the needs and challenges that youths of the cenre experience in their daily ives.

“We also felt very privileged to be able to make a valuable and significant contribution towards their lives,” Alloys related.

“In South Africa we also have a pandemic of absent fathers in our families and communities, so we feel it is of utmost importance that men step up to serve as positive role-models and fathers to young boys, especially, by providing guidance and support to orphaned and vulnerable children. Father-involvement and positive male role-models are essential to the overall well-being and health of adolescent boys and children.”

He also appealed for further assistance from the community to provide support to vulnerable children and families.

V If you need more details to make a contribution or get involved, contact Brendyn Alloys on 061 990 5129 or Ethel Maloley at 076 048 5402.

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