On the 26th of September 2014 Africa Unite held a dialogue at the Hanover Park the Community Centre. This is part of Africa Unite community conflict mediation project which aims at strengthening grassroots capacities within the communities in conflict in order to find durable solutions to their daily challenges.
The dialogue came as a follow up to the community assessment that the Africa Unite youth peer educators had conducted with local community stakeholders in Hanover Park- women community leaders, church leaders, Schools Police and local NGO’s.
This dialogue was attended by the Hanover Park community members along with Chief Galada of the Khoi San. The community had a long fruitful discussion about their challenges, below are some of the challenges they identified in order to find a common solution:
• Division and lack of working relations among different stakeholders working in Hanover Park.
• High level of dropouts among the learners and use of drugs.
• Unemployment and lack of skills trainings opportunities for young people.
• Lack of activities attracting young people.
• 10% may finish the high school another 10% may have employment however 80% will be jobless and easily lured into indecent behaviors .
• Lack of social workers/psychologists at school in order to support the children coming from violent homes.
• High level of crime, drug abuse and youth gangsterisim
• Lack of role models
All the above challenges are very important and interlinked for Hanover Park community; however these challenges need to be discussed deeply one at a time in order to find a common solution. Drugs and gangsterism was selected by the community as the first issue to deal with. During the dialogue it was noted that the community is very divided and suspicious towards each other regarding the issue of drugs and gangsterism. Youth unemployment was selected instead to be the next topic for discussion for the meantime while different stakeholders in Hanover Park will continue to work towards building trust amongst themselves.
It was also mentioned that the community needs to work towards giving a positive image of Hanover Park similar to ‘Proud Manenberg’ and ‘Khayelitsha Development’.
Another recommendation was made, to identify prominent people who emerged from Hanover park to assist in these challenges.
A volunteer task team was formed in order to mobilise more community members in the next meeting.
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