I PROTECT ME empowers young people to be resilient (stand up for themselves) by protecting their boundaries and respecting the boundaries of others. It also teaches them some self-defence skills for physical protection when under threat.

We have taught 4-5,000 children those skills in primary schools in the Cape Flats, South Africa, over 4 years. We have had many success stories of how the skills have been used by children to protect themselves.

On demand from the schools, in January this year we went to all the secondary schools in Bonetheuwel, Cape Flats to teach their teenagers self-protection skills. This would be done by training parents as trainers.

All the schools opened their doors. They offered for us to train in-school (usually organisations are only allowed to teach after school). They told us that the skills we teach are VITAL and need to become part of the Life Skills (guidance) curriculum.

The ground is fertile. The community wants the training. The schools are ready. The potential is huge.The University of Cape Town is on standby to support the programme with monitoring and evaluation systems and research.

But we could not continue. Why? Because we do not have the money to pay a manager to manage the logistics of training parents and peers, working out schedules with and between the schools and making sure that the training can be recognised as a vital part of life skills for teens in the gang lands of Cape Town.

We need help.

Our manager is an experienced youth worker, who has been motivating young people in gangs with huge success in the Cape Flats. He has been doing this without financial support, as a volunteer.

But even volunteers need to pay their rent, need to keep their families going. So he has been forced to find a desk-job.

This means that the parents, schools and community have been placed on hold.

Please help us. If we find a salary for our manager, this project has HUGE potential, for we are already in negotiations with the Ministry of Education to test this training in schools, starting in the Western Cape.

Please send me your ideas. Perhaps you might be able to help with crowd-funding; perhaps you are able to reach out to your circles; perhaps you might be able to send ideas through for funding sources… Whatever you can do. Please let me know – monicagclarke@gmail.com.

Thank you my friends.

May you continue to let your little light shine wherever you might be.

Love and light

Monica Clarke