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I have a blessed life and I have been extremely fortunate for the blessing I have received. However those blessings came at a price, a price that no child should have to endure. Most of my teenage years I lived with my grandmother and grandfather in Eldorado Park, I attended school at Silver Oaks. My circle of friends I loved and trusted was small. I was the type of girl that mostly kept to herself out of fear of standing out; I never wanted to be the person that stood out of a crowed. That I would be someone would pass negative judgment and out of fear that I would be embarrassed. I have four sisters and one brother. In a family of six I was the third eldest so it came very easy for me to step back and watch my family’s behaviour and personalities, trying to figure them out, which I have done right through to my teenage years. I would never speak out, and always kept what I was feeling to myself.
I lost my mother at age 11. The day she died, I was standing in an open field with one of my mother’s close friend and her daughter. She told me to wait there and not move until she came back. I did what I was told and as she was making her way back I could see the look on her face when she came to me she fell to her knees and held my legs and cried. I knew without her telling me that my mother was gone. And as she stood there crying I did not cry, I kept consoling her instead and trying to comprehend in my mind what just happened, trying to make sense of everything that has happened in the last couple days.

Till this day I do wonder what it would have been like with her in my life. What type of grandmother she would have been, would we have a close relationship, but in my heart I know that my life would not have been like it is today. Out of the grief I found that we are quite similar, even though I am not one of the siblings that look like her. She was a strong independent educated woman. She took risk in starting her own company and was a hard worker. Through all that she has endued in her life, she got back up after brutal beatings and kept on moving. These are the values she has instilled in me and even though I only had her in my life for eleven years, I am blessed and honoured that she was the mother that God gave to me.
I come from a family with guns; we would be at the shooting range every other day with my father collecting hot shells from the dirt. My father was a teacher at the family run shooting rang in Klipspruit West. It was right next to the cemetery. At times the club would have functions at the shooting range and we would have to drive at night through the cemetery. I always thought how weird it was and the irony that the shooting range was in a place that a larger amount of young people lost their life with guns. As we drove through the cemetery, I always pictured a child sitting in the middle of the cemetery lost. I never liked going there and sat close to my brother for protection out of fear something might jump at the car door window.
When we got home, my father would clean his guns and use the shells that we collected and recycle them for his next tournament or training. We would sit there with him watching what he was doing and shine his recycled bullets, marking the back of the shells so he would know that it belongs to him. I never liked guns. I hated the feeling of a gun and hated what it could do to someone. Many families have died by accident with someone having a gun and although I know how to use one, I will never pick one up or allow anyone in my home to, as accidents happen. I never imagined that the same cemetery I was afraid of as a kid would be the same cemetery that my mother would be buried in.
When I was a young in Eldorado Park and Klipspruit the most common cause of death was from gun shots. These days it’s Aids, drug abuse and suicide and these are slow deaths that we can prevent if we just watch for the signs and communicate with the youth of today.
I am blessed as I have a family that has always been close, that always took the time to find out what was wrong with me and when I step out of line they would direct me on my path again. We need to stop this circle of deaths; we need to invest our time and some money into building sporting activities to motivate our kids. Allowing them to grow and learn a sport learn to work as a team, to look out for their team mates and to be the best they can be in school. One thing for sure is that the schools are not providing enough activity in sports.
The school I went to doesn’t involve in swimming, rugby, soccer or hockey, simply because they don’t have the means to apply them to their subjects. If you apply a few sporting activities to kids subjects and allow them to choose which one they would like to try after school. I feel that this might reduce violence, teen pregnancy and drug abuse. We also need to provide volunteer work after school to businesses, to help kids learn a skill whether it’s in business or a trade, providing traineeships to give them a better chance of finding a job when they do finish school.
A lot needs to be invested in our kids, and if I can overcome all that has been thrown at me I know that with a helping hand we can help our kids do the same. So the question is how many of you can come up with some ideas on how we can implement this in our schools?
Even if we start with just one school how can we provide these activities for our kids, so that they don’t end up at the cemetery in Kilpspruit West.
Who can provide me with information on applying activities in schools?
Who can volunteer their time after school hours to teach kids about sports and working as a team?
Who can (in our local businesses) teach underprivileged kids a new trade or skill to allow them to gain experience and see what they are capable of?
Who do we contact to make sure that this is practiced and allow this to be part of the student’s educational curriculum?
How can we get in contact with local sporting facilities e.g. swimming pools and community centres where kids can compete and train on a daily basis?
Who can we speak to, to help kids with their studies after school, to encourage them to do better?
This is my questions and I really do hope that someone can answer them; please I really would like to hear from you.

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My love letter to Eldo’s

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Dear Eldos,

Do you remember the days when you could walk alone after 10pm at night and not be scared for your life?

Or do you recall being a child and being sent to the shop by yourself?

I started going to the shop by my self at the age of 5 but was walking around the streets long before then. I may be wrong but i don’t think that would be possible to do that now, without fear taking over your whole body.

I remember such a freedom growing up in Eldos and belonging to a community where everyone knew each other and everyone knew your business.

Thinking about those days still brings a smile to my face.

We did silly things as kids, my best friend and i walked to extension 9 everyone weekend purely because we thought there was nice boys. Wearing our new shoes in the dirt while walking through the sewer pipes until we reached extension 5. We then had to walk all the way back, but for us it was an adventure.

One hot day we broke the water main on our street, just so we could have a swimming pool, those are just a few of my memories. I know if you had to think about it you would have some great memories of your own.

Is the children growning up their now going to have these memories? I’m not saying all of them won’t but how many will?

It’s been 14 years since i moved to Australia but Eldos I call my home. I love the place and the people, and i know i don’t know everyone of you but i care enough to not want to see the place and the community fall apart.

In the past 14 years i have been back to South Africa about 8 times. I still go back and see the same people and my best friends are still the same friends i had in grade 2, so i don’t believe that i have changed that much.

The last time i returned i saw what Eldos has become, and it made me sad. I know i don’t live their anymore but what happened to the respect we had for each other and for ourselves, kids smoking drugs at the shops and not caring who walks past them, i could be their grandmother or someone else’s mother. I saw a girl selling her self for drugs with her baby in her hand. What do you say to that, when your watching that happen in front of you?

When i told everyone i was coming home they said that Eldos has gone so bad now, i didn’t believe it. They said you have to see things for yourself.

Poverty does not discriminate against anyone, if we as a community don’t stick together and the strong don’t help the weak, at the end of the day the next generation will suffer.

Please don’t talk offence to this letter as it comes fro my heart, like every love it has its hurtful memories, the happy ones, the trails and tribulation but at the end of it we all need to make a decision , is it worth staying or leaving? Does the happy times overweight the bad?

The next generation is counting on us, we are now the adults of Eldos, we need to stand up, lead, and make a change.

Love,
M.Damons

Housing issues in Eldorado Park.

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Useful and free help line details available

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http://www.hotelyeoville.co.za/homelife/22-home-life-useful-information/384-counseling

Free Help Line Details Available

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Free Help Line Details Available

This is worth looking into, nothing to loose, life to re-again:

A Movie trailer about Eldorado Park

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Is anyone listening

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Its amazing how an idea spreads, I started my blog to build awareness to provide people with free information about the following topics drug abuse, teen pregnancy, child abuse and crime I think i have aimed to high when i started my blog. Seeing how so many people really don’t care, is upsetting and frustrating at the same time. I want to hear from those people out there that has made a difference in their community. How have you been able to make changers regardless if they are small ones or larger ones?. How can i build awareness and attract more followers, how can we help each other out in a small way to increase a persons life?. Its a new year and I feel that change is gonna come if we start talking to each other instead of just liking a page or a comment made by someone else let us here your idea

Must know i am a mother of twin girls age three i work 5 days a week, study part time and I have started this blog. My life is not simple, its not easy. I have to work hard for the money i earn. I have to save for the things that i want or need, I have to proved my kids with educations by paying for it. So if anything i am a regular women like any other women trying to build a foundation for my kids. How ever i am willing to extend myself more to help someone because i don’t want to loose anymore family and friends in the place I call home, the place I lived most of my life. If you work in aid care or if you know of jobs available, If you have links about free counselling, If you would like to volunteer your time to help some please comment on what you can do and how we can achieve this together.

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