Freedom Park to host youth dialogue

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pretoria – Freedom Park will host a youth dialogue against drugs on Saturday in response to the call by President Jacob Zuma for the nation to unite against drug abuse.

“School going youth from the poverty stricken suburb of Delft in the Western Cape will join young people from Eldorado Park and Kliptown in Gauteng to engage in a facilitated dialogue to share experiences on fighting the scourge of drug abuse and building a better future for themselves,” said Freedom Park Chief Executive Fana Jiyane.

Jiyane pointed out that when the Freedom Park hosted Youth Day activities at Delft last year, he was encouraged by the success of a community initiative involving the police, education authorities and parents to stamp out drug abuse among youngsters in Delft through a cadet training scheme.

This resulted in disciplined behaviour at home, improved grades at school and greater social cohesion in in the community. Jiyane says while youth are leading the way in Delft by breaking free from the drug-infested lifestyles into which their parents are imprisoned, in Gauteng youth are entrapping themselves in drugs against the wishes of their parents.

Jiyane says the youth dialogue between these two groups of youth would help them share perspectives about how to fight their common enemy.

“The youth of 1976 whom we honour in this youth month made sacrifices so that the youth of today can enjoy the fruits of our freedom.

“Today’s youth - who are called born frees and who will be voting for the first time next year are challenged by the evil scourge of drugs which threatens their freedom. It is important that these young people are given platforms to talk about how they can engage in this new struggle against these social ills,” Jiyane said.

Scheduled to start at 10am to 4:30pm under the theme, “Working together for youth development and a drug-free South Africa”, the youth will be addressed by a representative from the South African Police Service and a chairperson of the Delft Community Forum.

They will also engage in discussion and debate with emphasis on crime and drug abuse among youth, which will be facilitate by community activist Glen Arendse.

The main focus will be upliftment and empowerment, to enable youth to make a difference in their lives and communities. The youth will also undertake a tour of Freedom Park and Voortrekker Monument.

Jiyane also announced that the Freedom Park will commemorate Youth Month by granting free entry to all visitors to its newly opened iconic museum, //hapo (which means “a dream” in the Khoi language) for the remainder of the month of June.

The award-winning museum was officially opened by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe in April and tells a South African story dating back 3.6 billion years ago.

“We invite all South Africans to commemorate the tremendous role our youth played in the freedom and democracy we enjoy today, and to join in the new struggle against drugs and under development, which threatens the full realism of these freedoms. As such, we are offering free entrance to the Park for the month of June,” Jiyane said. –


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