On 7 to 8 July 2020 a clean-up drive was initiated by the youth of the extension 10 community in Eldorado Park. The extension 10 community is a very close knit community with only 100 houses in it. Everyone knows everyone and are possibly related to each other in one way or another. There is a community steering committee made up of the ward counsellor and a few community members. The committee serves as an instrument to help shed some light on the social ills in the area and works as a voice for the voiceless. One of the main aims of the committee is to tackle the youth unemployment rate within the community. With the help of the counsellor, a few youth empowerment programs and projects have been made available to the community and surrounding areas over the past few months.
Through the steering committee a Youth Group/Committee was formed in April of 2020. It is a platform where the youth can freely express their views and grievances as well as strategise on their own. The group organises activities for themselves and their peers as a way of keeping them busy and away from the temptation of partaking in destructive activities. On 7 to 8 July 2020, the youth with the assistance of the steering committee orchestrated a clean-up in the area. The first day was a rainy day but this did not stop the activity from kicking off. People of all ages partook in the activity which in turn made it a success.
“It is good to see our youth taking charge and doing something productive. Our young people usually just sit on corners doing nothing all day and this was a good way to keep them busy,” said Elsie DaConceicao a member of the community who’s son participated in the activity.
The community is riddled with a lot of social issues such as crime, violence, unemployment as well as drug and alcohol abuse. These issues have become more prominent in recent years and most of the youth have fallen victim to it. “It is time for the youth to take control of their futures and change the cycle. Together we can fix things and make extension better,” said Theolette Johnson, a member of the youth committee. With things like corruption and greed clouding our government and leaders, self-organising might be the only way out for our youth.
This article was submitted on 18 July 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.