NVV is a platform founded by the Plea for Peace Project and Musical (PfPPM) and Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) to train the minds of children to seek non-violent means as a resolution of conflict through the use of music, poetry, cricket and tennis.
Coxson, Venessa Padaychee of NICRO, and Jaun Truter, founder of Mid-Way, discussed the urgent need for parental guidance and counselling in Manenberg.
Karin Bromberger, a music teacher who has also provided NVV with musical recorders, and Coxson, have agreed with Cecil Balie, principal of Kewtown Primary, to start recorder lessons at the school.
WPCA trained 25 educators from seven schools last year to score and manage intra and inter-schools cricket games.
The matches scheduled were occasionally cancelled due to gang violence and shooting near the school hosting the event, but the past few months saw the violence subsiding, according to Coxson and Balie.
“We are using tennis, poetry, music and cricket to draw kids away from violence and away from drugs and to instil good habits. We take a long-term view in our efforts to do this,” Coxson added.
“The tennis court techniques and discipline entrenched in the children’s spirit is also beneficial when they play piano,” Coxson said.
Right now, NVV have 14 recorders and the only challenge to use them at different schools would be logistical – transporting children from Manenberg to Athlone, said Coxson.
According to Ashraf Davids from Delft, they have approached JP Smith of the City of Cape Town and through his intervention and the neighbourhood watch in Rosendal and Delft, the violence has subsided.
Jihad Omar and Ebrahim Abrahams, both teachers at Kewtown Primary, underlined the importance of giving every learner an attainable goal for the next year.
They also referred to the Shine Literacy Programme at 66 primary schools to get children reading and in this way, address South Africa’s educational crisis.
This intervention and the visualizing of goals help bored children to become brighter.
But visualising a goal and challenging children one on one to implement and fulfil that dream is important. It means a hands-on approach which requires that the mentor say bluntly to the child: “If you don’t quit drugs and gangs, you cannot become a Western Province cricketer,” Abrahams said.
Truter said the one-on-one counselling of ex-offenders would impact positively on reducing gang violence in the area of Manenberg, Delft and Ocean View.
Coxson emphasized that the long-term goal was for the NVV to branch out.
They must strive to create new cells to inform and mobilise affluent societies about the challenges the people face in the war-torn communities on the Cape Flats.