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The Pietermaritzburg Agency Community Social Action (PACSA), working within uMgungundlovu Municipality has launched its new Youth programme, called the Youth Street Survivors program.
The launch event was held on the 20th of June 2019, at the Mandela Park in the east of the Pietermaritzburg CBD. “I am happy with this level of attendance. The main intention is not to have the initiative only to be the initiative of June month, but everything we will be doing in all activities we must be able to say next year this time, here is a street survivor who has been able to make it to the mainstream of society and various spaces”, said Nqabakazi Mathe the PACSA Director YSS launch.
PACSA created a safe space where the youth living on the street can meet and share the ideas on problems facing them. The organisation has dedicated their efforts towards the information dissemination among the youth, towards the creation of platforms for networking. “Nothing about us without us”, during the launch the streets survivors shared their stories, citing their daily struggles and their wishes for the future. “We are misunderstood, not all of us are pick-pocketing around the streets, and some of us are earning a living by helping carry groceries to the taxi ranks, wash cars, and fetch water for the taxi drivers. In the streets we are the victims of brutal violence if someone lost anything they come beat us up, without any clarity of whether was it me or whoever, we bear the blame that we are often not responsible for. Sometimes they burn our blankets” Nhlakanipho the YSS sharing his story at the launch. Some of them were looking for ways to stop using drugs, to which they are now addicted to.