Faqeer, who lives in Lavender Hill, is 17 years old – the age at which young men are the target of gang recruitment on the Cape Flats, and are at high risk of getting involved in crime and drugs. But not Faqeer, who has bigger dreams.
Faqeer says that a lot of boys his age try to do things to impress their peers, which often leads to joining gangs. “To grow up in Lavender Hill is like a task that you’re going through because there’s a lot of things you get distracted by like gangsterism, drug abuse”. Which is why Faqeer believes that ECP saved his life.
Through participation with Eco Warriors from Grade 4 to Grade 7 and then joining the Alumni Programme, ECP has highlighted for Faqeer his capabilities, and shown him how to overcome his weaknesses while building on his strengths. He says that ECP has always been by his side. He has particularly enjoyed the hikes and camps, as well as building the Levana Primary School Food Garden which was built in 2019 with the help of students participating in Semester at Sea – a transformative #studyabroad programme recruiting students to volunteer around the world. Faqeer still enjoys spending time in the Levana garden with his friends and believes that ECP has provided him with a safe place, away from violence. A place that can nurture his dreams of becoming a firefighter one day. A place where he can be happy.
Beautiful footage by Dreamcatcher Productions ZA