Purposefully making a difference

Lansdowne Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson, and Mitchells Plain CPF cluster spokesperson, Rafique Foflonker, addressing the parents on bullying.

More than 100 pupils from Highlands, Heinz Park, Northwood, Woodville and Khanya primary schools will be a bit warmer this winter, thanks to non-profit organisation, Party with a Purpose Productions (PPP).

On Saturday June 16, the organisation celebrated Youth Day by handing over rain jackets, gloves, scarves and beanies to each of the children from these schools.

This annual event has been dubbed Kit a Kid 4 School, and this year it celebrated its 15th anniversary.

The hand-over and the day’s activities took place at Khanya Primary School in Philippi. The day was also dedicated to one of the founding members of PPP, Bronwyn van Graan, an actress who died suddenly on Saturday March 31.

While parents and teachers listened to talks from guest speakers, the children were divided into age groups, where they took part in various workshops, including art and hip hop dancing.

Speaking at the event, actress Euodia Sampson, who starred in Fishy Feshuns and Tussen Duiwels, among others, said she started a campaign to encourage parents to hug their children for at least 60 seconds a day.

“I work with young boys. We as mothers play a vital role in what kind of man your son will become. It is all about how we raise them. Do not make them out to be a monster because they look like their father who abandoned you. As their mother, you are their first love.

“Show him what love is, and don’t project your pain on your teen son, and then wonder why he belongs to a gang. Let us be the catalyst in our own homes. Switch off the television. Have conversations. Young people are desperate for a connection with the people who are supposed to love them. Many of the recovering drug addicts I work with, told me they turned to drugs because they wanted to numb their pain of not being validated and feeling isolated in a house full of people,” Ms Sampson said.

Lansdowne Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson, and Mitchell’s Plain CPF cluster spokesperson, Rafique Foflonker, appealed to parents to deal with bullying.

“There are two kinds of bullies. Sometimes a child responds with physical violence, after they have been called names or are being teased. The latter is also a form of bullying. We work with both. If we don’t deal with it, they will grow up to become abusive husbands or wives,” he said.

Guilot de Klerk, manager for learner support in the Western Cape Education Department’s Metro South Education District, said her department is proud to be association with PPP.

“Through your actions of giving, these pupils’ hopes and dreams have been restored in humankind. We are proud to be associated with an organisation that makes a big difference in the lives of our pupils,” she said.

In paying tribute to Ms Van Graan, affectionately known as Peach, fellow actors shared their memories of her.

Chad Abrahams said whenever he wanted to throw in the towel, because the challenges around making PPP a success became too much, Ms Van Graan was the one who encouraged him to go on.

Jill Levenberg, known for her role in Suidooster, said whenever Ms Van Graan laughed, she had to laugh with her.

“She was a dear sister to us. She always had that energy and spark. Whatever she did, she did to the best of her ability. She shone in everything she did. Nothing was too much,” Ms Levenberg said.

Brendon Daniels said he was “lucky enough” to do two theatre productions with Ms Van Graan.

“She never had a bad word to say about other people. She never slandered. She lived peace,” he said.

Ms Sampson said she was the life and soul of PPP.

“When there was a stumbling block, she would always sort it out. She left a huge gap that will never be filled. She was about community and love,” she said.