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Mac-Kaylen Johnson(holding the phone), (Back) Amelia Vester, Bradley Gravers, (Middle) Tiffany Swarts, Gladys Julies and (Front) Chante Arnold showing of their meddles while taking a selfie during the BIBOVALLA Youth Summit Feedback Session Programme at Goodwood Civic Centre on October 13, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Carl Fourie)

Mac-Kaylen Johnson(holding the phone), (Back) Amelia Vester, Bradley Gravers, (Middle) Tiffany Swarts, Gladys Julies and (Front) Chante Arnold showing of their meddles while taking a selfie during the BIBOVALLA Youth Summit Feedback Session Programme at Goodwood Civic Centre on October 13, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Carl Fourie)

Youth ambassadors from Bishop Lavis, Bonteheuwel and Valhalla Park presented the City with proposals for priority development and service delivery interventions that they have identified for their respective areas at a feedback session last night, 13 October 2016. These ideas came as a result of the City’s BiBoValla (Bishop Lavis, Bonteheuwel and Valhalla Park) Youth Summit which was held in June 2016 and involved 450 youth delegates.

A group of youth ambassadors, Cape Town’s future leaders, signed a development and service delivery charter with the City of Cape Town last night as a pledge of their commitment towards various development interventions in Bishop Lavis, Bonteheuwel and Valhalla Park. Youth ambassadors who participated in the BiBoValla Youth Summit provided feedback to the City and the larger BiBoValla youth group, where they unpacked the various challenges faced by their communities and proposed innovative solutions.The City’s Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme (MURP) initiated the BiBoValla Youth Summit in response to the BiBoValla Community Action Plan. These areas form part of Subcouncil 5, which is a designated MURP node.

‘It is so encouraging to witness the passion and commitment demonstrated by this group of youth ambassadors. They have proven that they acknowledge their responsibility as the future leaders and custodians of these areas and that their future possibilities depend on what they sow now. By working together to highlight their community concerns and by prioritising possible solutions, they have already achieved so much of what needs to be done and are true examples to the youth of our nation,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.

The youth summit targeted people between the ages of 13 and 25, with the goal of deepening democracy and empowering the young people.

The challenges identified by the youth included social, cultural and safety and security issues as well as a lack of institutions and infrastructure within their communities. Some of the initiatives proposed by the youth to tackle the challenges specific to each area include:
· instituting awareness programmes around hunger and poverty alleviation, disability, discrimination and gender-based violence
· workshops and events focusing on cultural diversity
· mobile clinics and libraries
· the revival of social nurse programmes at schools
· local rehabilitation centres
· various safety and security solutions

The pre-summit workshops, which centred around the theme of ‘Possibilities for the future start with us’, were attended by 450 youth candidates from the BiBoValla areas, and 45 of these candidates were then identified as ambassadors and attended the main summit where they focused on the theme ‘As Youth We Can Make Progress Possible Together’.

‘This youth summit forms part of our urban regeneration programme, which continues to be rolled out across the areas in the metro which need it most. Often these areas are characterised by urban decay and violence, and we take a multi-pronged, bottom-up approach to counter this, focusing on empowering our communities through various development programmes and dedicated infrastructure investments,’ said Councillor Van der Merwe.

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