Stretch for peace

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November 15, 2016
Stretch for peace

PROJECT CHANGE: Yoga classes in Kraaifontein. CREDIT: Solly Lottering

Community uses yoga to try and ‘calm down’ violence.

Don’t be surprised to see mense in Kraaifontein “greeting the sun” or sitting in the lotus position.

That’s because they’re attending yoga classes, started by two men in the area trying to bring crime down.

The Scottsville residents also started a library to get people reading, and believe practising yoga will calm people down.

The yoga classes are held in Dahlia Street, where several people were killed this year.

On Friday, Terence Crowster and Phillip Botha launched “Project Change” and were surprised when more than 100 parents and children rocked up.

Kraaifontein SAPS’ Captain Gerhard Niemand, donated 1000 books from his own 25-year-old collection to the library.

The library is housed in a colourfully painted container on the side of the road, where people can read or loan books.

Botha, a yoga instructor, believes the discipline of yoga will have a calming effect and bring peace to mense, and in so doing have a positive impact on the community as a whole.

“This project is aimed at our parents and kids. We teach them how to eat properly and to remain focused on the future, and the right path, through meditation. I believe it will change the lives of our kids,” he says.

“We have a healthy biryani served after class every second Friday. The trick with yoga is that it prepares you for life. You can handle any situation calmly. This will remove them from being lured into gangsterism.”

Crowster says he wants children to read and become empowered instead of getting blindsided by the “glamour” of gangsterism.

“The skollies speak in gangster language; daar is geen Engels of Afrikaans nie. These children need guidance and we need to change their mindset,” he says.

Captain Niemand called on the community to play their part and also donate books.

“The impact of drugs and sex has a negative outcome and we want to change that for our children. I am sure in every house there is at least one book that can be donated to the betterment of our communities,” he says.

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