Lost City chil­dren find Christ­mas hap­pi­ness

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - JU­NIOR BESTER

CHIL­DREN in Mitchells Plain had an early Christ­mas sur­prise yes­ter­day when Fa­ther Christ­mas ar­rived at their party at the Lost City Com­mu­nity Crèche, which caters for chil­dren from Lost City and Tafel­sig.

More than 200 chil­dren were joined by var­i­ous spon­sors, in­clud­ing Western Cape MEC for Hu­man Set­tle­ments Bonginkosi Madik­izela and event or­gan­iser and busi­ness­woman Yvonne Lungcuzo.

Lungcuzo, who grew up in Lost City, said: “We are here to­day to bring hope to this com­mu­nity. I want to see the chil­dren have a play­ground so that they do not see peo­ple hav­ing sex, do­ing drugs and all the crime.”

Lungcuzo, 47, has been fight­ing on be­half of her commu- nity since 1994, when she was one of the first shack dwellers in the area.

To­day she is the part­ner in Em­bassy Travel, a travel agency, and wants to plough some­thing back to her com­mu­nity. She said: “When I go out and sit in a restau­rant I can­not even swal­low my food be­cause I think of the chil­dren in my com­mu­nity who are strug­gling.”

Madik­izela ap­plauded Lungcuzo’s ef­forts, say­ing her rags-to-riches story made her a role model for the chil­dren.

The MEC, who grew up in Khayelit­sha, looked around at the badly van­dalised cen­tre where the­creche is, and said: “This is mak­ing me very emo­tional as it re­minds me of my back­ground. I be­lieve it is im­por­tant to share life sto­ries so that the chil­dren can get en­cour­age­ment. These kids look up to role mod­els who are not do­ing the right things. It is up to us to in­spire them and be the right mod­els so that they can be­come the fu­ture CEOS and min­is­ters.”

The chil­dren en­joyed a fun­filled day with party food, jump­ing cas­tles and presents from Fa­ther Christ­mas.

Ir­faan Jain­oo­d­ien of Ve­loc­ity Cars said: “We are truly blessed to be in the po­si­tion we find our­selves in to­day. The only way to thank the man up­stairs is to give some­thing back to the peo­ple.”

ju­nior.bester@inl.co.za

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