Teens cycle for a safer life

Instead of focusing on the negatives in her life – an absent father, unemployed mother and a brother on drugs – an Eastridge teen keeps her eyes on the road and remains determined to keep safe.

The 16-year-old did not want to reveal her identity but wanted to share how she overcame the challenges of she faced.

She is a member of We Desire To Inspire Foundation, a non-government organisation (NGO), close to home, a safe space where she socialises with other youth.

The group goes on weekly Sunday bike rides with club chairman Edries Davids.

“It keeps us from the streets and it helps us focus on the positive in our lives,” she said.

She has someone to speak to and has been inspired to be a leader

Before starting high school she helped out with the organisation’s kids’ club, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday after school, playing games and doing activities with younger children.

Another member of the cycle club is Lakeisha Jacobs, 16, who said she was either at her own home or at Uncle Edries’s home.

She does not really mingle much outside but enjoys keeping fit and plans on doing the Cape Town Cycle Tour next year.

“We go for our rides in the morning and we either have lunch or supper and allow a break from any problems,” she said.

Lakeisha described the Davids’s home as a safe haven.

Mr Davids and his wife, Lutfia, are grandparents who have a passion for taking care of the youth in the area.

They want to share skills with the youth and give them a safe space to prevent them from joining a gang, taking drugs, gambling and harming themselves.

“We want to empower them to keep busy and to do things that would benefit them in the future,” she said.

About three years ago the foundation fed 120 people once a week.

When Covid-19 hit in March 2020 they started feeding up to 400 people, from Monday to Friday.

Fifteen-months ago they started feeding 80 children before they go to school between 6am and 7.45am. Leftovers are served to adults.

“Kids cannot concentrate on an empty belly,” said Mr Davids.

“We want to give them alternatives,” he said.

Ms Davids said they would like to get the mobile library to make regular stops in their area.

“Instead of them roaming the streets the youth can sit and read,” she said.

They also take the youth to a nearby park where they can kick a ball and run around.

On Youth Day – tomorrow, Thursday June 16 – they will have a day of activities, including motorbike and car show, face painting and the City’s Fire and Rescue Service team and vehicle will be around for the children to inspect.

Littlewood Primary School’s drill squad will also be in attendance. They will have singing and dancing from 9am until 4.30pm.

For more information and to donate call Mr Davids on 078 048 3940.