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Safer Together

safer together beach walk

One of Safer Together’s regular fun activities is the Muizenberg Moonlight Meander (MMM), with walks on the beach on the Saturday closest to full moon. Whereas for a long time the beach used to be deserted after dark, people seem to be taking Muizenberg beach back for the community. Increasing numbers of people are now again walking on the beach in groups in the evenings.  The group started the monthly Meanders in December 2008 – hoping that at least once a month people would come and have family picnics on the beach, or walk the waterfront at night and visit the restaurants that stay open specially – because they feel safe enough in the presence of neighbourhood watch folks keeping an eye. Safer Together also “persuaded” the City of Cape Town to have the lights on the beach fixed – and with better lighting – groups of people can enjoy the beach after dark.

For over four years, the MMM has kept going – even through the Cape winters – with varying numbers of people, depending mainly on weather and occasionally competition from major sport events!  The family fun event has become so popular that two other beach suburbs in the Cape have started similar moonlight walks.

Several of the people working in community safety have done SynNovation training and the process has been used for various problem solving sessions in the area. Topics covered included developing an action plan for the neighbourhood watch and 'Activists for a safe community' Workshop - exploring the impact that individuals can have to promote safety. 

Most recently Melanie and Truida initiated and facilitated a workshop seeking solutions regarding homeless people in Muizenberg. It was a joint meeting of the City of Cape Town, the Muizenberg Improvement District, MCSI Neighbourhood Watch and Safer Together.

In December 2012 Safer Together organised a week long programme at Village Care in Lavender Hill, offering children at risk a variety of fun and life skill activities.

Safer together Assertiveness workshop with children in Lavender Hill
Safer together Assertiveness workshop with children in Lavender Hill

The holiday programme started as an initiative coordinated by Safer Together to find a solution to prevent children coming into Muizenberg to beg – as they are then often exposed to other risks.   In discussions with Western Cape Street Children’s Forum and Village Care in Lavender Hill, it was decided to test the concept by running the project during the first week of December. Marion Wagner from Safer Together sent articles to local papers, The Echo, People’s Post and Scenic South, calling for volunteers, and Safer Together donated R3000 to fund food and art materials.

The programme started on Monday 3 December, targeting children from Capricorn and Lavender Hill who currently don’t attend school.  The children enjoyed a range of activities offered by various volunteers.  Matthew, a regular at the drop-in centre, gave a very touching thank you speech to the volunteers when the programme ended.

Ralph and Debbie Muenstermann, both volunteers with Justice Acts, did amazing craft activities around the themes of “me”, “my family” and “my community”, and helped the children to make a chalk mural on a section of the wall at Village Care.

Kai, a yoga instructor, held a fun activity which was among the favourites.  Zoe, a local Muizenberg artist, had the children make stunning collages of themselves. Truida, of Safer Together, ran two workshops on Problem-solving and Assertive communication.

Veronica and Naomi (volunteers from the USA), Anna (a volunteer from Finland),  Sarah and Margaret (Safer Together) from Muizenberg, were there to lend a hand. Carina baked cookies for the children and Maryatta, a professional photographer from Germany, took photographs.

Safer Together hopes to continue this programme longer term but for this, additional funds are urgently needed. Donations can be made to:

Safer Together
Current a/c no: 1083381695
  • Branch: Foreshore, Cape Town
  • Branch code: 108309
  • Nedbank
  • Recipients reference: Children project