Sixty years after the ANC’s Freedom Charter envisioned a universal education policy, hordes of disillusioned students marched outside the gates of Parliament, burning Zuma’s effigy and chanting ‘Fees Must Fall!’ – How far has South Africa come in advancing opportunities for higher education, and what more can be done?
According to Andrew Ingram, Public Education Manager from Water Wise Academy, the most common way children drown in South Africa is while attempting to help friends who are struggling in the water. Often, one child sees another panicking and tries to help. Sadly, in many cases, both children end up drowning.
After spending a month volunteering at schools, daycare centres and orphanages in Ghana, I noticed one similarity – despite an impoverished background, all the children had smiles across their faces.
It’s December. The festive season is in full swing, the malls are filled with gifts and people are visiting family and friends. The Christmas spirit is everywhere in Cape Town. Everywhere, but in the townships. People living in the townships don’t see the festivity in the malls or on TV. Often they don’t celebrate Christmas. But… that’s about to change.
There are eight of us in the car; myself, five Projects Abroad volunteers from the human rights office, our coordinator and our driver. As we drive through the gates of Bonnytoun we are met with high walls, barbed wire fences and uniformed officers, and I begin to feel slightly nervous at my decision to visit this boys’ juvenile detention centre.
Youth Day is a day where everyone takes a moment to celebrate the young people of South Africa as well as remember those who were lost in the country’s pursuit of freedom, specifically the Soweto Uprising of 1976. This year, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation hosted the Youth Health Festival (YHF) at the Artscape to help educate young men and women from Cape Town about sexual health and HIV/AIDS, a crisis that affects over 300,000 children in South Africa alone.
In 2014 Dene Botha, the founder and managing director of Pride Factor, had a simple dream – to make a difference in the lives of teenagers in South Africa. Now two years later he has teamed up with Greg Secker of the Greg Secker Foundation to create the Inspired Youth Programme. A platform that is not only opening new doors for the youth of South Africa, it is shattering the outdated mind-set of what it means to be a successful and to achieve one’s passions and dreams.
It was barely nine o’clock in the morning when the parent burst into the office. ‘There’s nothing wrong with my child, it’s your school that’s the problem!’ The parent is shaking with anger as he approaches the principal’s desk. After 40 years of teaching, the principal is used to people blaming her, yet she still has vast amounts of empathy.
According to the South African NGO Fathers, children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems.
The Hard Livings, The Clever Kids, Thug Life, The Americans and The Junky Funky Kids… the list goes on. These names, as infamous as they are comical, have become ingrained in the vocabulary of almost every Capetonian, regardless of social economic status, colour or creed. It is no wonder this pernicious integration has occurred; with over 130 gangs in the Cape Flats area alone with membership in the hundreds of thousands, the effect of gang culture pervades the lives of many.