As the army was deployed into certain areas of the Cape Flats and beyond many of us watched with dismay…
This is the narrative the rest of the country is given of an area facing tremendous odds. Communities still trying to crawl themselves out of the mess that apartheid and forced removals and lack of local government focus left them in.
What good ever comes out of the Cape Flats? is a question that many people silently mouth, if not actually say out loud…
Enter BottomUp stage left.
Our organisational mission is to promote active citizenship and participatory democracy with children and youth. We believe that the promotion of critical thinking and social justice in schools will contribute to a better society and a future that is more just and fair for all people, and also the environment in which we live.
A group of young adults who formed a non-profit that eagerly steps into areas like these because they believe there is good located in the Cape Flats and that it is an area worthy of attention and hard work and that if something is not done by the people of the Cape Flats to see in the transformation that is needed, then it is very likely to come from anywhere else.
With chess clubs and after school programmes and a commitment to working with some of the learners who are leaders in their schools [RCL and ARC groups] and now also philosophy, singing and public speaking opportunities.
Changing the story from the bottom up.
It is in the Public Speaking arena that i have been able to get involved in the smallest of ways and it has been such an amazing space and at last year’s First Annual Speak Up festival 12 of these youngsters blew us away with their speeches and demonstrated the power and potential behind just the few sessions we got to spend with them. On Saturday mornings when most kids are sleeping in or playing with their friends, these dedicated youngsters spent a few hours together learning how to improve their speaking skills as well as being challenged to think more critically about their current contexts.
And it is happening again…
Taking ‘Speak Up’ to the next level
For this year’s Speak Up festival we have chosen a venue that is larger and more accessible and just that little bit more glamorous as we believe that these young voices deserve the very best opportunity to be heard.
The Nassau Centre at Groote Schuur High School in Claremont is going to be the venue for this event and we would love for you to be there, but we do not have a limitless supply of tickets and so you do want to get yours quickly before it’s too late. This is a local event you do not want to miss out on.
i hope that i will see a number of you there. These young people are going to change the narrative of the country in a number of ways. Starting with a demonstration of the kind of incredible potential that exists within the spaces of the Cape Flats.
For more information on the work that BottomUp does and if you would like to get involved in your personal capacity or as an organisation in helping them do it better, check out their website over here.