Sat, Dec 4, 2021

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    Balls Not Guns initiatives begins in violent communities

    Cape Town – The re-launch of the Balls Not Guns initiative aimed at creating peace in violent communities, is expected to start in December as the festive season gets underway.The official launch took place in 2019 but due to lockdown restrictions it was placed on hold.The initiative is the brain-child of Gloria Veale, who was raped at the age of 12 but did not allow her pain and suffering to overwhelm her; instead she began to work to uplift communities.A pre-launch event was held at the Cafda sports field which was once a battleground for gangs.The children were awarded trophies, given a meal and taught how to compete without harbouring hatred in their hearts, Veale said.She said they were going full swing ahead with their programme as the festive season and school holidays begin.“We are relaunching Balls Not Guns during the first week in December and it will be in the Athlone Region to draw all communities,” said Veale.The idea is replace violence and gunfire with ball games such as soccer .“The ball that is the symbol of light and life. It is Christmas, we want to highlight that. We had 150 children from the Cape Town community, it was a Balls Not Guns tournament between Retreat and Lavender Hill. We held it in Cafda at the sports field and it is a sports field that separates the opposing gangs in that community.She said children often have to dodge bullets there and now it has become a peace ground.“All our communities have become such violent spaces and it is about bringing children together to show them how to live in peace and harmony with one another. We launched in 2019 and due to lockdown.“This initiative will include communities as far as Wesbank to Bonteheuwel to Elsies River, Lotus River. It is important to note that we are pro life.”Solomon Staggie engaging with the children. supplied imageVeale is partnering with Voice of the Voiceless, under the leadership of Solomon Staggie, the Alcardo Andrews Foundation under Moms Move for Justice, Prophetic Keys ministries international and the First Nation Movement Staggie said they were thrilled to give back to the community.Staggie runs an after school programme, and is the brother of former Hard Livings gang bosses, Rashied and Rashaad Staggie, who were murdered.He was released in 2014 after himself being imprisoned for 17 years. and turned his life around becoming a born-again Christian and educating inmates.“We provide food and fruit for our children to trophies because every child is precious,“This is to transform our minds and hearts.”Weekend Argus

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