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16 Days For Youth - Bringing change in Western Cape communities

Radio station reflects on travels across the province
Heart FM Team (left-right): Jo-Dee Butler, Tapfuma Makina, Suga, Aden Thomas, Tracey Lange, Julian Naidoo and Mark Marshall
Heart FM Team (left-right): Jo-Dee Butler, Tapfuma Makina, Suga, Aden Thomas, Tracey Lange, Julian Naidoo and Mark Marshall
click to enlarge
Heart FM Programme Manager Denver Apollus and Aunty Magda Meyer from Paarl
Heart FM Programme Manager Denver Apollus and Aunty Magda Meyer from Paarl
click to enlarge
As the 16 Days for Youth campaign came to a close, the Heart FM team reflected on its cross-province journey and one thing was evident - the campaign that initially started out as youth-focused projects, turned into something bigger, enabling the team to bring change to communities at large.

The radio station set off on 1 June 2016 to start its first remote broadcast from Vredenburg on the West Coast after shutting down its Green Point studio for the entire 16 days campaign. 1,366km, 15 towns and 15 remote broadcasts later the teams have returned to the studio humbled. Along the journey they’ve been clothing, feeding, fixing, painting and lending a helping hand where possible.

The team met many interesting people along the way but one of the highlights was meeting Tannie Madga Meyer, a selfless community member from Paarl who runs Magda’s soup kitchen. This however is more than a soup kitchen - she washes, feeds and clothes children up to the age of six years old in the community of which many are HIV positive. She also cares for the infirm and feeds about 2,000 people in Pedro and Beukes streets every week – often from her own pocket. Her love, care and dedication to helping others is testament to the humility and selflessness that we often forget exists in today’s world. Her only wish was to build a storeroom and a kitchen for her to cook for the people in her community, a dream fulfilled by Heart FM, partners and donors.

Heart FM Managing Director, Renee Redelinghuys, says: “This campaign was our way of giving back to our communities, it was never about the radio station. We wanted to give our youth a platform to share their stories and tell us what it is like to be a youth in 2016. The stories we heard touched us in ways we could never have imagined. One story that particularly stands out is when Aden asked a student at Christel House what her morning looks like to which she responded that she wakes up at 5am every day and the first thing she does is goes to look for water so that she can bathe before going to school. How insignificant most of our challenges are when compared to what thousands of people are faced with on a daily basis.

"We also used the opportunity to show case people in the community who invest their time and money in our youth and expect nothing in return. These unsung heroes are the glue that keep the communities together and their stories has inspired so many of us. I have also been overwhelmed by the response from our listeners, clients and stakeholders who selflessly supported this campaign. Last but not least I would like to thank the communities we visited for welcoming us into their towns, their schools, their homes and most importantly their hearts. Progress is not possible without change and that change starts with us.”

Programme manager Denver Apollus shares Redelinghuys’ sentiments: “The kids and young families we’ve met along the way makes me realise the purpose we serve as media to be able to tell their stories. The journey wasn’t easy but we made it through each day by filling those obvious gaps one nail, one cup of soup and one slice of bread at a time. I am humbled by the efforts the presenters made to make a difference. What a journey. Wow!"

To view the 16 days journey video click here

For more information around the campaign follow us on Facebook @16DaysForYouth, on Twitter @16DaysForYouth and Instagram @16DaysForYouth or on the website www.16daysforyouth.com.

29 Jun 2016 10:58

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