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City is working with parents to create a better environment for youth to excel<p>​Today, I addressed attendees at the launch of the Athlone Community Support Group Programme which will provide training to parents to help them deal with the major challenges facing our youth.</p><p>These challenges include substance abuse among young people and the negative impact it has on families and communities across Cape Town. </p><span><p>The programme is the brainchild of Ward 49 Councillor Rashid Adams who has brought together the City of Cape Town and partner non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to support parents and tackle these challenges head-on in his ward.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:780px;" /> </figure>​​</span><p>The programme gives full effect to the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP) to create a caring, safe and inclusive city. </p><p>Earlier this month, I held the first Mayoral Pop-Up Office that aims to make the City more accessible, responsive and visible in the ward. I walked with the Women for Change group through Kewtown and Bridgetown and was reminded of the sheer determination and resilience of Athlone residents.<br>So many residents are joining hands with us and, despite challenges, they want to do anything they can to uplift their community.</p><p>Today the City armed another group of residents with the skills and knowledge to help prevent youth from getting involved with drugs and crime while assisting those already affected by it.<br>    <br>‘Substance abuse is a major challenge facing our children today and a great number of parents are in denial as they are not equipped to deal with the situation. Often the parents’ response to the situation results in consequences which negatively impacts on the lives of the affected child and family,’ said Councillor Adams.</p><p>The Community Support Group is training 20 parents from Athlone this week by creating a platform for them to start talking to each other. The Mosaic Centre for Abused Women and Children, Horizon Halfway House, the Matrix Clinic and the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate are providing training for the two days. </p><p>Participants were trained on how to deal with substance abuse and domestic violence. Parents were given guidance on how to identify possible signs of substance abuse and where to seek help. They were also taught how to assist fellow parents in their communities who may have similar problems. </p><p>After the two-day workshop the 20 participants will be expected to go out to arrange meetings with other community members. They will be monitored by a group who will serve as facilitators of the community meetings and will register them on the City’s database as a Community-based Organisation.</p><p>The new groups will also be offered a seat on the ward forum. With this in place, monitoring will be on-going as they will have to report bi-monthly at the ward forum meetings about their community activities.</p><span><p>​​​​​​Young people battling substance abuse are often rejected in their communities and substance abuse has torn many families apart. </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:944px;" /> </figure>​​</span><p> </p><p>We need to tackle this issue on all levels by implementing preventative programmes like we do with our Youth Cadet Programme. Since the programme’s inception in 2013 some 3 000 of youth from all over Cape Town have participated in camps that focus specifically on life skills and leadership development.</p><p>The City also offers treatment to those battling substance abuse through our Matrix Clinics and supports parents to be better equipped to fight the scourge and win back their children, as we are doing with this new programme and our Strengthening Families programme. </p><p>This innovative approach with this latest community support group is just one of many interventions the City is implementing to ensure that the next generation of Capetonians has access to opportunities and lives in a more inclusive and caring city. </p><p>Young people are often told to ‘pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.’ But unless society builds the support structure and ladders to move upwards, many of our youth and their children won’t have the straps to pull themselves up and out of unemployment and poverty and the related socio-economic ills.</p><p>As much as we reach out to young people to walk the journey with them, they too have choices and each day we must all work together to empower the youth to make the right choices.</p><p>Together we are building a more caring city and making progress possible.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong><br></p>2018-06-19T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d;GP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|StatementsGP0|#40b767e7-bd30-4256-b01a-0deec96a62b2;L0|#040b767e7-bd30-4256-b01a-0deec96a62b2|youth;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#3e00c2c7-fedf-442d-8068-e856bb6690e2;L0|#03e00c2c7-fedf-442d-8068-e856bb6690e2|Skills;GP0|#6f359a5c-6b7b-47bc-8437-f4d24d700325;L0|#06f359a5c-6b7b-47bc-8437-f4d24d700325|The mayor1

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