Mitchell’s Plain residents converged on the Thusong Centre in Tafelsig last Saturday to celebrate women’s empowerment day and to give families a sense of hope that they have a part to play in the restoration of the communities.
The event, organised by the Community Prayer Movement, started with a prayer walk from Kapteinsklip station to the Thusong Centre.
Community liaison officer Ashley Potts said the concept had originated with founder of the movement, Ursula Peters (“’Plain needs prayer and action”, Plainsman, April 19).
“Ursula had a message that God is needed back in our communities and through this praying initiative and today’s event, we are saying without God we cannot achieve our purpose to keep our children and women safe.
“Today’s event is to say that we are tired of seeing children being killed. We are tired of seeing domestic violence perpetuated in Mitchells Plain specifically,” he said.
Mr Potts urged residents to stop the violence against women and children and asked God to guide them to be bold enough to speak out.
He said about six children had been killed in the area over the past six months and asked the community to work together to fight crime.
Member of the Community Prayer Movement, Carol Nwoffiah, from Tafelsig, said they started the movement early this year after a spate of child killings in the area.
“Initially it was a vision God gave our founder and member Ursula Peters. The movement was established after horrific deaths of young girls that started earlier in this year. So, every month we have prayer walks in different communities in Mitchell’s Plain,” she said.
Ms Nwoffiah said they also got invites to pray with families whose children were missing.
Strandfontein Community Policing Forum chairperson, Sandy Schuter, said part of their responsibility was to ensure children and women were protected.
“It’s not only police responsibility to take care of the community. You need also to protect your neighbour’s child – not only yours. You need to implement that adage ‘your child is my child and my child is your child’,” she said.
Joan Woodman, councillor for Ward 75 – which includes Colorado Park, Highlands Village, Hyde Park, Morgans Village, New Woodlands, Philippi, Rondevlei Park, Weltevreden Valley, Westgate; Wildwoodand Woodlands – described the event as a great initiative and urged community members to work together.
“We also need to unite as councillors (and) put our hands together. We need to show from our side our commitment and dedication to making things happen together,” said Ms Woodman.
Mitchell’s Plain police station spokesman, Captain Ian Williams said they supported the event and emphasised the need for community stakeholders to work with the police.