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South Africa: Hike for Hope with Khayelitsha Youth
Source: SA - the Good News
Source Date: Friday, June 14, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Jun 14, 2013

On Saturday 18th of May, Trevor Paull a member of GAPP (Guys at Prayer and Praise) at Christian Life Camps Bay and Erik Kiderlen, a Sans Park guide, and the Christian Hiking Network arranged for 30 teenage boys from Khayelitsha to be bused to Table Mountain, sponsored by Bates Printing. Some of the boys had never left Khayelitsha before.
These boys are all affiliated with gangs in their area in some way or another. 40% of their community is HIV positive. Some of them have managed to stay in school and some of them have dropped out, following their siblings and friends. These boys have had their only possessions burnt to the ground, they have lost family and friends to gang warfare, disease and poverty and most of all, they have never known a life with a prospect of ‘tomorrow’.
The 30 boys, three ex-convicts, two GAPP members, two pastors from Khayelitsha and two members from The Imagineers Communications Agency hiked up the Platteklip route together. Through perseverance they learned what a ‘mountain-top moment’ really was; a feeling some were too overwhelmed to describe. At the top awaited KFC sponsored meals for all of them and water sponsored by Spout Social Media.
At the top we learned that among us were children like we were, with dreams like we had. Among one small group we had a lawyer, an engineer and a geologist.
Table Mountain Arial Cableway Co. sponsored the trip down in the cable car, a thrill the boys never imagined they would experience. On the ride down, a young boy who had the most to say about the drugs and the gangs he was involved with, begged that we help him get back into school, a plea we simply cannot ignore.
To prove to these children that they can be of value to society means they will pass value on.
If, through these actions, a gangster can be inspired to return to school and give up his criminal lifestyle, it will be a extremely worthwhile endeavour.
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