By Ogopoleng Maremela, COPESSA Manager
On the 19th May 2017, COPESSA hosted their 5th dialogue for this year. The dialogue concept was launched on the 1st December 2016, in honour of the 16 Days of Activism against the violence of women and children and World Aids Day respectively and followed suit in honouring Human Rights. Our goal is to create a space where community members could respond to all the messages of awareness and how they have fit into their personal lives.
We realised that it is time that we started engaging in conversation with community members about the things that matter the most to them such as being self-reliant, being heard and safety. As an organization we desire to know the dreams as much as the challenges within our community and the dialogues have created a space where without judgement or being right or wrong, we can share ideas and experiences with the goal of learning from each other.
The vision of COPESSA is to create safe and caring communities for children. We believe in a Protea Glen where parents are in better positions to care for their children, where children are groomed to be respectful and have self-belief; and where opportunities are realised from within the people of the community.
In the past dialogues we have focused on the topic of parenting. Many adults grew up in the age where “my parent was your parent” and children respected adults as that but there has been a disconnect, where adults complain that children do as they please but at the same time children haven’t been raised with the value of knowing that “it takes a village to raise a child”. There are different ways that this can be achieved, and we will be exploring this conversation further in our next dialogue the 24th June 2017 at 11am at the container in the park in Protea Glen Ext 11.
We have faced some big challenges as an organization in the past 3 years including near closure due to limited funds, burglaries and theft, vandalism in the parks. Our survival is dependent on the footsteps of the people in our community to march along with us in making sure that we take good care of our children.
They are our children and they deserve our best in the same way that our forefathers gave their best to us.