Councillors put weight behind festive project

At the back from left, councillor Ricardo Saralina and Claude Julius and front, from left, councillors Desiree Visagie and Raelene Arendse.

Three ward councillors, who work in the Kuils River area, have backed a plan to offer support to vulnerable children over the festive period.

The 200 Children Challenge is the idea of veteran community worker Claude Julius of Sarepta.

Mr Julius is the chairman of Kuils River Youth Development, an NPO helping children in communities where drug and alcohol abuse is rife.

He pitched his plan to councillors Desiree Visagie, Raelene Arendse and Ricardo Saralina at the Kuils River municipal offices on Thursday November 2.

As a member of the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association,
Mr Julius took part in the Tweede Nuwe Jaar parade in the centre of Cape Town with a group of children from Kuils River and other Cape Town areas earlier this year.

Now, in what he hopes will become an annual project, he is challenging businesses to each “adopt” a child by donating R200 to clothe them for next year’s parade and pay for their meals over the festive season.

“The Christmas holidays are the time when children feel most vulnerable, in particular those who live in homes where there is often a spike in drug and alcohol abuse at this time,” he said.

“We are planning a special meal on Friday December 16 (the Day of Reconciliation) and we want to hand out goodies and offer the kids a nice meal.”

They hoped to reach at least 200 children, but if enough money was raised more meals would be arranged for needy children.

“The beneficiaries of this initiative consist of youth from the
underprivileged Kuils River community where the focus is to educate and uplift and create an environment of self-worth and dignity in order to provide a brighter future.

“It also provides a platform for the youth to engage with communities all over the Western Cape and to enhance their skills, for example, in playing music or becoming drummies and becoming disciplined in community-based structures.

“It’s part of our ongoing fight to rid neighbourhoods of drugs and gangs.” Ms Arensde said: “We can definitely support this good initiative.”

Mr Saralina and Ms Visagie also agreed to be part of the project.

Call Mr Julius at 073 910 4271, if you can help.