NVV was founded by the Plea for Peace Project and Musical (PfPPM) and Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA).
Its purpose is to use poetry, music, cricket and tennis to train the minds of children on the Cape Flats to make sustainable choices for non-violence as a resolution of conflict. It is a healthy and peaceful alternative to gangs, drugs and anti-social behaviour.
WPCA trained 25 educators from seven schools earlier in 2017 to score and manage intra and inter-schools cricket games.
The Association has expressed its desire to host a festival outside Manenberg in case the level of violence in that area does not change. The venue for the festival would be either Victoria Cricket Hub or Primrose Cricket Hub.
Transport will be organized for young players who could not participate in the KFC Mini-cricket program in the last term of 2017 due to the violence.
“The kids’ safety is of utmost importance. It is dangerous and unfair that the kids who are very keen to play, cannot play due to the challenges we are experiencing and therefore we would like to host a festival outside of the area to ensure the young players participate,” said Clinton du Preez, amateur manager of cricket at WPCA.
Robin Coxson, founder of PfPPM and co-founder of NVV, warned that ongoing violence in Manenberg is making it extremely challenging for cricket matches to be played in the area.
A major problem in Manenberg in 2017 - carried over from previous years - is the lack of continuity with sports activities because of the violence.
The six cricket schools under the auspices of WPCA in the Manenberg-area have not been able to schedule inter-school matches because of the violence.
When they do schedule matches and the shooting starts, they cannot continue the games.
The violence has become a daily occurrence, happening in the morning when kids go to school and then in the afternoon when they go home.
Some schools have been able to carry on their mini cricket activities intra-school.
Manenberg Primary has in excess of sixty players grouped into four teams.
Sonderend had been scheduled to participate in a Hanover Park cricket festival the first week in November.
Silverstream Primary also indicated that they were using the cricket set with their players.
So did Saambou Primary. Edendale and Rio Grande experience extensive violence, which put a hold on their cricket. Both schools indicated that they would be reviving cricket in the first term in 2018.
“Through the festival (at Primrose or Victoria), we will give young cricketers the opportunity to participate in the game they love,” said Du Preez.
“We will reassess the violence and once it has abated, we will reschedule and continue the cricket fixtures,” Du Preez added.
Felicity Harrison, program director of the Goedgedacht Forum, said there is incredible resources in society that can assist beleaguered communities on the Flats.
There must be a connection between researchers and communities so that academics who write reports about what is occurring in gang-affected Cape Flats’ areas influence policies in a more informed way, she added.
Currently the academic study or research of what is supposedly happening in war-torn societies, and lived realities in those communities are almost totally divorced.
A connection between communities and non-governmental organization who do advocacy, is also imperative, said Harrison.
A young social-media expert is also required to share the stories of NVV with the wider community.
Coxson remarked that individual volunteers who build community and relationship with children in Manenberg and Delft are even more important than resources.
These individuals can share their experiences via social media with a wider audience.
Coxson said NVV needs transport from January for Manenberg children to and from Athlone at least once a week to ensure continuity in their training of piano-recorder, tennis, poetry and the Plea for Peace stage production.
The also require soprano and treble recorders for recorder classes starting in January at Kewtown Primary.
Coxson said the tennis lessons performed by NVV have continued despite challenges. One nine-year old daughter is participating in the tennis sessions despite a bullet settled in her groin which cannot be removed for fear it would do more permanent damage.
“We have made some progress, but it is alarming that in some areas, like Manenberg, we face increasing poverty without many sporting facilities.
“We have tried for three years by using poetry, tennis and cricket, with lessons starting and then falling flat again.
In cases where tennis and cricket have been successfully used, he has seen rich reward almost immediately, Coxson said.
After one session of tennis training while focusing on holding the ball and walking straight along the lines of the court, the kids were tangibly more disciplined. It is proven that such coaching is successful, but it must be done in a safer environment with secure transport available to and from the tennis.