Planting Trees 18 August 2013 to Honour Girl Children

For more information, contact Bridget Pitt bpitt@iafrica.com  Ph 082 462 1308

 

stock-illustration-8213178-arbor-day-tree-plantingOn Sunday 18 August at 3pm, we will be planting trees at Princess Vlei to honour and remember the girl children who have been victims of a brutal and uncaring society, and to heal the wounds caused by their suffering. The Reverend Rachel Mash from the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute will be there to bless the trees. We invite all concerned Capetonians to come and plant trees with us.

 

Our children are the true wealth of a nation, and should be nurtured at all costs. Yet every day our society fails at this most fundamental task.

 

The communities surrounding Princess Vlei, like many communities with socio-economic challenges, face the daily trauma of missing, murdered, raped and abused children.

  • As at 30 July 2013, eight children were reported missing in the greater Grassy Park area this year.
  • January 2013, a 17 year old school girl was kidnapped in Grassy Park and raped.
  • Eight year old Savannah Mersin went missing in February 28, 2012. On March 2, 2012 her body was found buried at Sunrise Beach Muizenberg.
  • Eight year old Steenberg resident, Veronique Solomons’s burnt body was found at Zeekoevlei in  2005.

These are just some of the cases. Many others cases go unreported. Every child who suffers brings anguish and shame to the community that is unable to protect them.

 

The abuse of children is closely tied with the abusive attitude towards women. Girl children are abused more often by male relatives and step-parents than by strangers. They are betrayed by the very people who should be protecting them. The brutality of a social system that forces millions into inhuman living conditions provides the context in which this abuse continues.

 

For this reason, the legend that the Princess Vlei was formed by the tears of a Khoi princess who was abducted and raped by Portuguese sailors is a story that resonates strongly with people in the surrounding communities.

 

We believe that working together to create something beautiful and nurturing at Princess Vlei, to build a Nature Heritage park that honours the communities that have lived and played on its banks, will help to heal these communities. Our children need safe, natural areas to play in. A city that cannot provide this is a failed city.