MAYORS WOONGA PARK INITIATIVE ON A ROLL
By: Khethukuthula Lembethe
In February this year the eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo reached out to the ‘Woonga’ Park people, and started an initiative under the Clean My City Programme.
Three months later the initiative is on a roll, Botha Park is used as a sports field for the men and women that stay at Woonga Park.
Lunga Ntuli from Alabags Sports and Skills Development coaches them. They play soccer, netball and do other hand and eye coordination exercises.
“I give them life skills and mental coaching, it is all part of the rehabilitation process,” Ntuli said.
Ntuli added that it is challenging to get the men and boys to talk so he uses soccer to get them talking, discuss issues and boost their self-esteem.
The mayor promised to ensure that they get their ID documents. Gugu Ximba, a substance abuse counselor, and her team from the municipality pitch up a tent every day and get them signed up for their ID’s.
“We also get them counselling and put them on a list for rehab,” Ximba said.
This initiative will go on until September it was meant to end this month but they realized three months wasn’t enough.