By Loyiso Dyongman
At least 48 boys from Qina in Centane, Eastern Cape have been chosen for a sports development programme recently launched by the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation (UMF). The main aim is to foster responsible and compassionate young men as a strategy to combat gender-based violence and femicide.
Makhandan Uyinene Mrwetyana was murdered inside a post office in Claremont, Cape Town in August 2019. The rape and murder of the 19-year-old University of Cape Town student in led to nationwide protests.
The Foundation was established to honour her memory, and aims to have a meaningful impact on reducing the high rate of violence against women in South Africa.
Uyinene’s mother, Nomangwane Mrwetyana, who co-founded the foundation, told GroundUp they want to ensure young men are educated through sports.
“The sports development programme specifically targets boys between the ages of eight and 16. Recognising the popularity of soccer in the community, the foundation will initially concentrate on soccer skills among 48 boys from two areas in Qina in Centane. Our mission is to equip the youth who will become positive agents of change in their communities,” said Mrwetyana.
She said they are relying on research which shows that sports play a vital role in promoting critical thinking, leadership, conflict management, fair play, and respect. Mrwetyana said the foundation has set up a football club to train and nurture boys to become responsible and compassionate men.
“To ensure effectiveness of the programme, the foundation will engage a professional trainer along with a dedicated volunteer from the community. This collaborative approach will foster a sense of local ownership and maximise the positive impact on the participants,” she said.
Mrwetyana told GroundUp this soccer programme kicked off last month.