Teens address bullying issue

Lailah Daniels poster reads: Be unique, hit delete and smile.

The narrative of bullying was challenged at a youth upliftment workshop attended by over 70 pupils from schools in Wynberg and surrounding areas on Saturday.

The campaign called “Targeting bullying with love” was part of The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment’s ABCD Workshop, which was developed as a means to start engaging the youth.

The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment is a NPO and member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for Young People.

At the workshop on Saturday June 1 in Ottery, teenagers were challenged to address bullying by taking part in a restorative talk that identified why the bully feels the need to bully, and also addressed the pain that is inflicted on the victim.

This approach sought to help restore the relationship between the victim and the bully instead of simply punishing the bully.

ABCD addressed the challenges that the youth often face in their schools and communities and suggested ways to tackle them.

Cape Talk Radio DJ and producer Keenan Williams also spoke at the event.

Verline Leo, founder of School Revival, an NPO that works with ABCD, said the organisations involved in the workshop had identified the need to instil positive values in teenagers, especially in the Wynberg area because it is currently experiencing youth related challenges and there needs to be some change.

“I actually remember reading somewhere that Wynberg is becoming the drug capital of Cape Town. We need to keep the children busy so that they don’t turn to drugs. Creating activities and workshops for them helps.” said Ms Leo.

The four-part workshop was divided into sections addressing the different values that ABCD stands for – attitude, beliefs, choices and dreams.

The workshop aimed to help pupils think beyond their high schooling experience, and see a bright future , helping them make informed decisions.

On completing the workshop, an invite was extended to pupils to join the President’s Programme, a long-term youth development programme in South Africa that works with other organisations including the Girl Guides. The programme teaches emotional and social skills, ethics, morals and allows opportunities for learning, adventure, fun and a sense of belonging for pupils.