(Published - 14 June 2019)
About 100 students from the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and the World Mission Society Church of God got dirty in Zonnebloem last month.
But it was all in an attempt to clean up the historic neighbourhood on the doorstep of the Cape Town CBD. Currently a campaign is underway to change the name of the area to District Six.
The students – who belongs to a volunteer group called ASEZ - started in Caledon Street and spent three hours picking up the litter, weeding and sweeping the streets. Their efforts produced 140 refuse bags filled with dirt, and the group members undertook to look after the area continuously.
The City of Cape Town supported the group by supplying refuse bags, masks, brooms and other cleaning materials.
Mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg, joined the volunteers and gave words of encouragement. “I am grateful to be here (today)…you are truly a shining emblem and I want to commend your collective action to bring about a meaningful change in your community. It is truly inspiring. Your role, contribution and energy inspires other young people to play an active role in making our society a better one.”
ASEZ is an international volunteer group that consists of Church of God students from 175 countries. It was formed to save the environment, which is under severe threat.
One of their main activities is the Mother’s Street project which is aimed at cleaning streets globally over a combined distance of 40 000 km - about the circumference of the earth. They also run a project called SAVE which raises social awareness.
Since January they have carried out six volunteer activities in the Western Cape. Last year, 18 of their members were chosen to deliver a speech at the head-quarters of the United Nations on the International Day for Tolerance. Last year they also campaigned for Human Rights Day in commemoration of the 70th universal declaration of Human Rights from December 6 to13.