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Visions for childrens’s community centre in ocean view are becoming reality

Children a’Loud, an NPO based in Ocean View, Cape Town are helping to create a much-needed resource centre for the youth in this community – a place of safety, mental wellness, sports development, cultural activities and support.

Now, they’re calling on the public for donations to help towards the funding that will change lives of the youth, who are more capable and powerful than the circumstances they were born into.

The Children a’Loud Community Centre will be a haven of hope for the children of Ocean View. A safe space to positively influence and build self-esteem for each child. A space where they can realise their potential. The centre will also enable them to reach these children early enough to give them life tools, teach them new skills and show them a way to a better future.

Ocean View was established in 1968 as an area for coloureds that had been forcibly removed from the Simon’s Town, Noordhoek and Glencairn areas under the apartheid government. Now the township is known for its ongoing gang violence. In 2020, Ocean View had its Annual Crime Statistic at over 1600, according to Crime Stats SA, and has one of the highest murder rates per capita in the country. So, while its name might sound like a holiday resort, it’s anything but. Abuse, neglect and trauma is a reality for many of the children in the area with lack of opportunities, assistance and hope for the future painting a bleak and cyclic future.

Directors and founders Renee and Merlin Smith, who was raised in the area, has envisioned a dedicated safe space since their founding in 2012. Their vision is slowly coming true. In 2021, Children a’Loud, thanks to the kind donations from the public, donors and their own savings, purchased an old, run-down house in the neighbourhood that the Smiths says is “budding with potential”.

“We’re aiming to raise R900 000 by the end of this year to go towards the building facilities, plumbing and equipping of the centre, which we plan to open in June 2022,” says Renee. “Every single donation gets us closer to building the facilities we urgently need to provide a better environment for the children of Ocean View.”

To donate, please visit their website or backabuddy fundraiser page.

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