A group of over 50 primary and high school learners gave up their Saturday on 07 February 2015 to attend an Each One, Reach One workshop at St John’s Primary School in Kensington hosted by Activators Keith Knoop and Cathy Achilles as part of their Youth Interpreter Magazine community profiling project.
The magazine is a bi-monthly publication in which Achilles and Knoop profile communities, featuring the area, the residents and inspiring stories from the neighbourhood. As part of the process, the team also identifies a need within the community and host an Each One, Reach One workshop to address the need.
“For this issue, we had heard about the divide between Kensington and Factreton and used our programme to try to bring unity to the area,” said Achilles.
To assist them with navigating and profiling the community, Achilles and Knoop usually partner with organisations in the area to take them around and assist them with identifying community members to interview.
“In Kensington, we partnered with the organisation Revive #593 as we had met them before and were aware of their passion to unite the community,” said Achilles.
The event kicked off with learners being given magazines, paper, pens and glue to create past, present and future collages representing their lives and dreams for the future. After they had finished, Cathy Achilles shared her life story, detailing how she found out that her conception was a result of rape and the effect that this had on her life. The learners were given the message that each of them mattered and that they should work hard to create the future that they want.
The second exercise had learners lining up with their eye closed while listening to statements and questions facilitated by Knoop. The point of the exercise was to highlight that even though we feel alone, we often experience very similar situations. Questions such as ‘Do you know someone who is addicted to drugs’ and ‘Have you lost a father’ saw a high number of learners stepping forward to show that they have been affected by this.
“It was very touching to watch children coming forward who had been affected by these issues,’ said Zahier Davids, founder of Revive #593.
In addition to the above exercises, three local artists, Cheslyn Cupido and Sundro Naidoo who form the hip hop crew SunChez and singer Leeron Malgas, former Idols contestant who will be releasing an album later this year, performed and shared their stories of hope as encouragement for learners to pursue their dreams.
The day ended with a call for a united community by Shawn Peterson, resident of Kensington/Factreton and member of Revive #593. Peterson asked for the community to no longer be divided into Kensington and Factreton, but be known under one name, Windermere, which was the original name given to the area in the 1960s.
* This issue of Youth Interpreter has been selected as the official magazine for the Cape Town Carnival taking place on 14 March 2015. To purchase a copy or to advertise in the magazine, contact email@example.com.