On Monday, 16 June 2014, South Africa will commemorate Youth Day. We will recognise the incredible impact a group of young people made as they changed the course of history by their actions in Soweto on that fateful day.
It is important that we mark Youth Day. It is a sign of respect to those who gave their lives to the struggle that ultimately led to the freedoms we enjoy today. It is also important to learn from their example to rise against injustices, to unite against the wrongs in our society and to serve our communities by working for the benefit of all.
We encourage participation in the events being organised in communities around the country. For those who can't attend the events, it is possible to make individual contributions in other ways.
It is an individual choice how and where we make our commitment. But three examples of worthy causes have crossed my table recently and I invite you to consider these.
In the first instance there is great need among the people of Lwandle,who were evicted from their shacks in Nomzamoand are now housed in a Community Hall near Somerset West. You can make a contribution to the offices of the Community Chest of the Western Cape, 82 Bree Street in Cape Town (telephone 021 424 3344). They are collecting goods for the community such as canned or non-perishable food like rice, baby clothing and baby supplies like nappies, toiletries and similar items..
A second option, given the additional hardship that the cold weather has wrought upon the homeless, is the Haven Night Shelters: a non-profit welfare organisation that provides 15 shelters in the Western Cape with a total of 1 000 beds among them. The Havens provide shelter, meals, physical care, social welfare assistance and family reunification services to adult homeless persons. Many such people are in dire need of this assistance, and supporting the Havens mean they can extend their services. You can read about the Havens and donate through their website.
A third option is to hear the calls about the humanitarian tragedy that has unfolded on the platinum belt. As attempts continue to reach a settlement to the labour dispute, the reality on the ground is that people are without food, and it is estimated that this situation will continue even after the strike is settled. A call for donations of money, food or clothing has been made and you can read about it here.
Enjoy Youth Day and please consider making a contribution.
Dr Max Price
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