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The City of Cape Town has embarked on a performing arts development programme that will have long term benefits for street children and youth at risk. It enables them to acquire performing arts skills and become role models for their peers.

Mansoor Mohamed, the City’s Executive Director for Economic, Social Development and Tourism, said: “This programme will enable them to develop an artistic skill that will be with them for life. It will include working with NGOs and various spheres of government that provide local networks of care for street people. The programme is aligned with the City’s Street People Strategy which includes children who are part of reintegration and rehabilitation initiatives and are no longer on the streets. The City has worked on this proposal for the past six months. It will culminate in a concert with the street people performing in an orchestra using instruments made from discarded items (junk) and others singing and dancing to their music.”

They will be trained by the Zip Zap Circus School, Dance for All, Ikapa Dance Theatre Productions, Tercia Kindo Arts, Jikeleza Dance Project, Cape Dance Company and the Athlone Academy of Music who will be working in collaboration with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. Other organizations involved with Youth at Risk and Street Children as well as the performing arts sector have indicated an interest in getting involved with this programme in the near future.

An external co-ordinator, Dirk Badenhorst, who has extensive experience in dance, movement therapy and youth development work in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and Cape Town, has been appointed to train and guide the street people from rehearsals to the final performance. “I am thrilled to be part of this innovative programme,” he said. “It will leave a lasting legacy for the people of Cape Town. In the next few months we will be working very hard to be ready for performances during the World Cup in 2010.”

If you would like to help sponsor this project, please contact Monica Cleinwerck at asecondchance[at]capetown.gov.za

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