BY: Amanda Mkhize.

Using sports to empower the Noupoort youth to lead positive lives and to raise awareness of drug abuse, bullying, and other social ills, the Olympiakos Football Club have launched the ‘Save the Noupoort Child’ initiative.

“Sports instils discipline in our youth, giving them the opportunity to do positive things with their lives. We believe using it as a tool to reach out to our youth through these intervention programmes is an ideal way to let them know the dangers that drugs, bullying, and other social ills can have on them and our communities at large,” said Emlyn Lucas, owner and founder of Olympiakos Football Club.

Targeting learners in grades 5 to 12, across four local schools, the programme kicked off in September last year, with ‘Movie Fridays’, followed by an intervention centred on lessons learned from the movie. In addition to this, anti-drug talk shows and dialogues aimed at highlighting mental wellness were held in October, including live testimonies from youth in the REHAB centre.

“Our learners were exposed to real-life experiences and reminded about what the use of drugs in our community is doing to our town, families and society at large. With the intervention of our local social worker, Miss Rosslyn Makoni, the girl children have received the much-needed attention. We look forward to a fully-fledged programme from the ‘Save the Noupoort Child’ ambassadors,” said Mr. Willie Pietersen, Eureka Intermediate School.

This initiative, funded by Noupoort Wind Farm in collaboration with the Department of Social Development, came about due to a rise in drug usage amongst Noupoort youth, which led to an increase in crime. Other critical stakeholders include NTSUMI Charity Organisation from Gauteng, local SAPS, and the Ward Councillor.


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