PLEASED AS PUNCH: Children at Mtyobo Primary School received socks, pens and crayons from the Nemato Community Police Forum on Tuesday as part of an effort to improve the lives of the youth of the area. With some of the pupils are Ward 8 councillor Mazana Thembani (back left), Mahoy Nkontso of Stenden (back middle), Saps Constable Noncedo Matebese, Nemato CPF secretary Mavis Hoyi and Mtyobo principal Mava Booi Picture: ROB KNOWLES
CHILDREN at Mtyobo Primary School were provided with some basic necessities on Tuesday morning when the Nemato Community Police Forum (CPF) paid them a visit to encourage them to be model citizens.
The atmosphere was electric as preacher Malizole Sonendzi read from the book of Revelation in the Bible, telling the children that, “when God is on your side no man may stand against you”.
Next, teachers and police officers told the more than 500 children present, aged between six and 15, that criminality would not be tolerated in a free South Africa, and that crimes committed today would go on their permanent records and could adversely affect their futures when it came to employment.
After the extended morning assembly children from poorer families were each provided with school socks to complete their uniforms plus a handful of pencils, crayons and other items to assist them with their schoolwork.
Nemato CPF chairman Bonakele Moyikwa explained that the education of these and all other children in South Africa was a top priority, as they represented the future of the country.
He said the CPF visited Kuyasa Combined School on Monday and planned to be at Dambuza Primary School on Wednesday to do the same thing.
“Although we don’t normally raise funds for such things, the black-owned businesses of the area have been generous when it comes to the education of our children. We have also dug into our own pockets where necessary,” Moyikwa said.
“We needed to explain to the children they will hurt their chances of future employment if they end up with a criminal record. We want to take preventative measures to help children to not get into problems with the law in the first place. Once they have been arrested and incarcerated it is often too late, as the children learn from other criminals and the cycle continues.”
Nemato CPF is working closely with Saps, the provincial department of social development, councillors and the community to provide children with a chance to perform at their best during their 12 years of schooling.
“We need to groom our children from an early age not to commit crime,” Moyikwa said.