Media Release: Health Education Committee invited to witness youth who dance with ‘change in mind’
For Immediate Release
14 October 2022
A small group of youngsters known as the ‘Spiritual Dance Group’ from the Kwanokutula community in Riversdale, Hessequa, last week performed various dance routines choreographed by Rebecca Johnson, Suikerbossie Soup Kitchen. Rebecca invited the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Health Education Committee to witness several of their performances. The theme of their dance routines revolved around illegal dumping, hand washing, looking after your environment and self-love.
The GRDM Health Education Committee, which consists of Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP), was recently established and exists for the following reasons:
- municipal health education needs of the community are addressed by improving the GRDM municipal health education;
- standardise and streamline GRDM municipal health education materials; and
- increase public awareness pertaining to the nine key performance areas of Municipal Health Services.
EHPs have a statutory obligation to ensure that everyone lives in an environment that is not harmful to his or her health and well-being according to Section 24 of the Constitution of South Africa.
PERFORMANCE BY DANCE GROUP
Upon arrival at the old Kwanokutula sports field, EHPs were met by a group of kids between the ages of five (5) and 15. Parents, in full support of the initiative, were present as they cheered the kids who performed with precision. EHPs also joined the various groups when they danced alongside the kids in support of the initiative.
According to the Chairperson of the Health and Education Committee, Jessica Erasmus: “It is not often you find a passionate young group of children pouring their hearts out in dance and especially a dance to promote a cleaner environment, amongst others. With young children taking a stance like this, we need to show our support for them as young ambassadors for the community. We will continue to support initiatives like these and hope to have more youthful groups cross our paths to fight for a cleaner environment together and to eradicate illegal dumping as a team.”
THE STORY BEHIND REBECCA’S INSPIRATION
When asked how she came up with the idea, Rebecca said: “At the nearby bus stop with a few of my friends, Hannelie Claassen, Claradene Blaauw, Juanita Jafta and Ronica Maans, we saw bullying taking place and then decided to stand by the children to ensure it didn’t happen again. What happened in the past was that whenever a bus arrived, the older kids would push the younger ones to the back. There’s a system in place now that allows the shortest kids to stand in front while the taller kids stand in the back. After we resolved that issue, I thought about some fun, activities for kids to build relations. It’s easy for kids to get involved in the wrong things when they’re bored, which is why I recruited them for spiritual dance classes.”
MORE ABOUT REBECCA AND HER FAMILY
Rebecca has lived in Kwanokutula for 12 years. She used to be a Sunday school teacher and started a soup kitchen about four months ago. She is a mother of a 23-year-old son, 14- and 12-year-old daughters, and a 27-year-old daughter with one child. With her passion for kids, she’s also adopting six and eight-year-olds from a neighbourhood where parents struggle with substance abuse. “I want my house to become a permanent home for them,” said Rebecca.
VOORSTELLE VIR ‘N SKOON OMGEWING
Volgens Raadslid Betsie van Noordwyk van Tuinroete Distriksmunisipaliteit wat woon in die Hessequa-streek, is daar al pogings aangewend om Kwanokutula skoon te maak, maar onwettige storting gaan voort. “Ek het self al vir ure rommel opgetel, maar die volgende dag het dit weer dieselfde gelyk”. Rdl. Van Noordwyk moedig die publiek aan om ten alle tye op ‘n verantwoordelike manier op te tree. “Die impak van onwettige storting kan tot baie ernstige implikasies lei”.
“Onwettige storting lok, onder andere, muise en rotte wat siektes aan mense kan versprei. Siektes sluit in die Hantavirus Pulmonêre Sindroom, Leptospirose, Rat-bytkoors, Salmonellose, Tularemia and Limfositiese Chorio-mengitis,” het Rdl van Noordwyk gesê.
Onwettige storting moet aangemeld word by plaaslike munisipaliteite.