23 October 2018 - As part of UNODC's global efforts to use sport as an instrument to make youth more resilient to crime, drug use, and violence, three organizations working in marginalized communities in South Africa were recently awarded financial grants under the Line Up, Live Up initiative. The organizations - which are based in the Gauteng and Western Cape provinces - will offer a series of comprehensive approaches to positively impact the lives of young people in the neighbourhoods where they work, through a combination of sport, life-skills training, community mobilization and youth empowerment activities.
In Johannesburg, the National Institute for Community Development and Management (NICDAM) will pilot a multi-sector community-based crime prevention model that will target both at-risk youth and youth already in conflict with the law. Working in the city's Westbury, Coronationville, and Sophiatown areas - well known for the prevalence of drug use and youth crime - activities will include sport and life-skills training, capacity building of parents, educators and criminal justice officials, entrepreneurial support and vocational orientation workshops, youth ambassadors and peer educators training and family support services.
Another organization working in Johannesburg, Sonke Gender Justice, will be using street soccer to mobilize and educate local communities in the Diepsloot township around gender equality and crime prevention, in particular youth. Through training youth ambassadors, the initiative will aim to empower young people and increase their awareness of the dangers posed by drugs, crime and violence, and of the drivers of violence, including gender stereotypes. This will be done through the sharing of anti-crime messages, community dialogues, media advocacy, and the mobilization of parents, educators and community actors.
Meanwhile in the Western Cape, UNODC will be supporting a partnership effort of grassroot organisations led by the NGO 'Oasis - Reach for Your Dreams' that will be taking place at strategic hotspot sites across Gugulethu and Manenberg in Cape Town - two prominent hangout sites for young people within key areas affected by gang and criminal activities. Together with other entities such as Fight for Peace, Project Playground, the Gugulethu Sports Organisation, and the Manenberg Resource Centre, this grouping combines a range of experiences to create a network of safe spaces across the community for young girls and boys. Ultimately, this will afford them access to a wide of programming, including sport, life-skills training, and art and cultural activities, that build their resilience, develop their social-emotional skills, and prevent and reduce their participation in crime and violence.