Communication via different kinds of media, new or traditional, only becomes meaningful, if supplemented and substantiated with real-life action and face-to-face interaction.
The YCPD members participating in the ‘#EKSE! My Voice, My Safety’ project organised live tweet-up discussions on violence (prevention) to exchange their views with local decision-makers, the police and the Department of Community Safety.
Moreover, their strengthened communication skills helped the training participants to compile insights, ideas and opinions with regards to safety and security issues experienced by the communities. This feedback generated in sharing events and WhatsApp groups, on Facebook and Twitter was then used to back up meetings with local officials to discuss integrated development plans. Doing this, the YCPD members participated in the decision and policy making of their municipality.
Another initiative to bridge the gap between internet-based communication and real-life action was the initiative #67ideas. Prior to International Mandela Day, the #EKSE! My Voice, My Safety’ participants collected #67ideas on how to make their communities safer. They used social media channels and face-to-face talks to gather input on violence prevention activities the individual communities could undertake. The favourite ideas – cleaning up Motheong Park in Tembisa and painting and cleaning up Illinge Secondary School in Katlehong – were so successful, that it was decided to regularly engage in up-keeping activities on these chosen projects.