On Thursday 21 February Amandla Development hosted the first Collective Meeting with the Philippi Collective Network for 2019 at Sophumelela High School.

It was the first of 3 meetings that will be held this year to discuss how we can work collaboratively to create a network of support to youth in Philippi. We used the meeting to report on projects that were started in 2018 and discuss a strategy for 2019.

Through data collection and analysis Amandla Development has identified three main problematic areas for youth – sexual reproductive health issues, domestic violence and literacy. We, therefore, split the larger collective into these three thematic areas to combat these problems in Philippi together. Last year, the literacy working group launched a library card enrolment project at Siyazhaka Primary School that has proven very successful. The group managed to host a large meeting with a great number of parents and generated interest and accessibility to reading. The goal is to encourage more reading for greater confidence and participation in class.

The sexual reproductive health working group worked on various collaborative activities that focused on reducing teenage pregnancy and increase the rate of HIV testing amongst youth. One activity was an event held on World Aids Day at Inzame Zabantu clinic where awareness, advocacy and testing happened. Forty-nine people were tested on the day. The domestic violence working group participated in the 16 Days of Activism in December to create awareness about taking a stand against domestic violence. The public events were held at Nyanga Police Station and Philippi Plaza Mall. Not only was awareness created but reports of violence and assistance was provided for on the day. The groups were again split into these three thematic areas to create new strategies to be implemented in 2019. Make sure to follow our news for updates on the Philippi Collective Network. 

We also had to take a moment to hear from Intsebenziswano on the ways that they provide support for their learners, particularly their matric learners. They had some top achievers matriculate in 2018, particularly Kamva Goso and Sinoxolo Ntsantsa. Kamva matriculated with 7 distinctions; 100% in Physical Sciences and Geography; second best learner in Physics in the country; 5th top learner in the Western Cape and first learner in the district. We interviewed the top achievers about their success. They believed their success had a lot to do with dedication and hard work, but they also took advantage of the resources available to them through their school and organisations working in Philippi. 

Kamva had this to say about organisations working in Philippi to assist youth: I received assistance and I’m proud to say I received assistance…without [them], I wouldn’t have even come to UCT. So I just appreciate whatever they’re doing. I just wish that they keep it up. That’s also one of the things that I kept in mind during my hard work. I have these opportunities and I see that they have the potential to work for a black child from the townships. So if I do not work hard who will keep on investing in such programs? Who will keep on giving children from the township this much assistance? So that’s why I decided I’m going to try and I’m going to go all out and try my best to work hard. Try my best to achieve. So that they can see that these programs are indeed working.” 

Thank you to all of our partners for your participation in the meeting but also for your dedication and impact on the youth of Philippi. Thanks to Triangle project, Desmond Tutu Hiv foundation, Sonke Gender Justice, Embrace Dignity, Philippi Brotherhood, Uphawu, Cesvi, Sivumelekile Reading, Vulamasango, Yabonga, Church forum, Religion Sector, SAEP, Intsebenziswano Secondary School, Weltevreden Primary School, Siyazakha Primary School, Masivuke Primary School, Mzamomhle Primary School, Khanya Primary School, Vukani Primary School, Brownsfarm library, Weltevreden library, City of CPT (Environmental Health), Phumlani Clinic and the attending community members.

We are looking forward to achieving more positive results in 2019.