DCAS Partners With UNODC To Change Youth's Lives
On Tuesday, 26 June 2018, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), through its Mass participation; Opportunity and access; Development and growth (MOD) Programme, partnered with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to host an awareness event on drug abuse at Wesbank Secondary School in Malmesbury.
The event marked the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and encouraged community members to support young people to stand up against drugs and crime and to lead positive, healthy lives. As part of the pilot of the Line Up Live Up programme in South Africa, UNODC has partnered with the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) to deliver the programme to at-risk youth in the Western Cape. The initiative is being delivered by sport coaches at disadvantaged secondary schools in the Western Cape as part of the department’s MOD programme. Furthermore, UNODC has partnered with Grassroot Soccer, to provide training, support and quality assurance in the implementation.
Young people who have been participating in the Line Up Live Up programme could showcase their talent and their efforts in tackling crime and drugs at this event. One of the learners from Louwville Secondary School remarked: “Sport has made a difference in my life. The coaches showed me that sport was not just about winning. Sport taught me a lot, kept me away from joining a gang or even taking drugs. I want to say thank you to my coaches.” Some of the speakers at the event included Mr. Paul Hendricks, Director of Sport Development at DCAS and Dr. Linda Naidoo from UNODC.
To date, 298 youth (male and female) have benefitted from the programme at eight schools. Further training of coaches, and delivery of the programme, will take place in the second half of 2018. In order to ensure the programme is as effective as possible, UNODC and DCAS are engaging broader communities, including parents, caregivers, education officials, community leaders and other stakeholders, to mobilise and support young people in the fight against drugs and crime.