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Four schools across the city have benefitted from a pilot project initiated by the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate in partnership with NICRO. The project is aimed at preventing anti-social behaviour, bullying and victimisation. Read more below.

The City of Cape Town has partnered with the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Rehabilitation of Offenders (NICRO) to start a Safety Ambassadors Programme – an intervention aimed at reducing crime at schools. As part of the City’s grant-in-aid initiative, NICRO received R230 490 to implement youth awareness programmes across the city.The programme started in May this year at four schools: Elsies River Secondary, Rocklands Secondary in Mitchells Plain, Intlanganiso Secondary in Site C, Khayelitsha, and Phoenix Secondary School in Manenberg. A total of 100 children were selected to participate in the project. The schools were selected and identified by the City and NICRO to pilot this partnership project and the project is set to be expanded to more schools and continue until September 2016.

‘Anyone can change their life path if they have the right tools and guidance. We live in a city where young people are constantly surrounded by negativity and often pressured into bad situations and habits. With this initiative, we want to make young people more resilient in their thoughts, feelings and actions. We are giving them the life skills which are so sorely lacking in many of our communities and which will allow them to better react to and deal with challenges, but also to make better life decisions for themselves and those around them,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Councillor Suzette Little.

The programme also incorporates the participating schools as well as the various governing bodies to help bring about a holistic change. On completion of the programme, the learners will become Safety Ambassadors and they will host several awareness campaigns and projects for their school and their community. Based on their training, they will be in a position to identify other youth at risk and assist them through their newfound skills.

‘There’s a saying that a candle loses nothing by lighting another. We want to use these learners as agents of change in their schools and their communities. They were youth at risk when they started this programme. Now they have hopefully become role models to those around them. That’s how you lead the change, by moulding leaders and examples that others can follow,’ added Councillor Little.

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