Website aims for positive stories from northern areas

It has been a promising few months for community website Napedia, which hopes to become the online encyclopaedia of the northern areas.
The platform, which was launched in June, is the innovation of the Northern Areas People Development Initiative (Napdi) and seeks to highlight positive stories stemming from the various communities.
It currently focuses on eight main categories, including arts and culture, sport, charity organisations, religious bodies, schools or education and businesses.
“The main idea is that insiders, those who live, work or who have worked and grew up in the northern areas, tell their story in a fun and interactive way,” project leader Thomas Terblanche said.
“We have received a couple of profiles [and] we’re still growing our profile base, but what we want to get is the statistical information, and that is the simple, everyday information [like] business’ details, contact details of schools, etc.
“What we’re hoping for in the future is having round table discussions in our focus areas,” he said.
People can also contribute by profiling notable persons from their areas, uploading contact details of community-driven organisations, writing opinion pieces and sharing their own stories.
Terblanche said the website was a work in progress and improvements were being made to make it more user-friendly.
“Telling the story of a people grouping is very complex, especially if the people grouping comes from a diverse background.
“What is interesting is when we speak of the northern areas, we just think of a group of
people at the northern end of the city.
“But when we speak of the suburbs we afford it some sort of dignity, so it’d be ‘Westering’ or ‘Summerstrand’ and so on.
“We don’t call it the ‘southern areas’ or the ‘western areas’.
“So the website recognises that Malabar is different from Gelvandale and Gelvandale is different from Helenvale; they’ve got names,” he said.
The head of Napdi, Michael Barry, said: “I think we must make more noise about the positive stories in the northern areas. There are a lot of good soccer players from there and a sense of community.”..

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