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Freedom Day with meaning for youth - GunFree SA

Categories: Safety & Security, Social & Community
ALEXANDRA – Alex youth on a mission to silence the guns.

Freedom Day 2019 was a worthy cause to Alex Youth who partnered with GunFree SA to fight the alarming gun violence in their community. This was through sports, arts and other forms of entertainment at the Alex Mall and off the street where they are exposed and recruited into crime.

Other partners for the initiative, in its second year, were Alex FM and the Children’s Radio Foundation and held under the banner, “Bigger than Life, Sports against Gun Violence and Freedom from Fear.

Alex youth joined on Freedom Day by others doing their bit for the young. Photo: Supplied

Entertainment was from local youth artists, mural painting and sporting activities included netball, basketball, skating, cricket and soccer and an information stall by NPOs was also on hand for awareness campaigns.

In a statement, event organiser Tumi Tsheola said, “Young people are easy targets for joining gangs, not only because of peer pressure but also the lack of places to help the development of skills, interests and access other existing opportunities.”

The various sporting codes were chosen as appropriate platform for the event because they engender discipline and get everyone actively involved.

“We want to open up sport activities to youth in townships, so that they will be less likely to being victims or perpetrators of gun violence,” Mary Ann Nobele of Gun Free South Africa added through the statement.

The physical benefits were also coupled with psychological ones to help protect children living in densely populated area like Alex where they are easily exposed to violence which leads to trauma. “Some children experience as much stress, depression, and anxiety as the adults. “Exercise is known to relieve stress and improves health, a fit child is more likely to be well rested and mentally sharp to help improve their comprehension of mathematics, reading, and memorising,” Tsheola added.

Information on risks of guns and action points on how to build a safer community through gun free zones in school was also provided.

Details: Sara Chitambo 072 534 2048; sara@gfsa.org.za

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