In celebration of Universal Children’s Day this November, Cape Town EMBRACE – a new social movement aimed at closing societal divides in the Mother City, will be transforming the Company’s Garden in Cape Town into an interactive and fun-filled experience designed especially for children on Saturday the 19th. Inviting children and the adults from across Cape Town to join them free of charge, the experience has been designed to show children that they too have a place in the city and remind the adults who care for them just how magical and important their children are.
“Childhood is a time to be celebrated and enjoyed as it lays the foundation for a child’s life trajectories and future wellbeing, but not all our children have access to the care and opportunities they need to reach their life’s potential. By making a visual impact and designing an experience especially for children, we’re hoping to bring the agenda of children to the fore and connect families from across the city,” explains Julie Mentor, Project Manager at Cape Town EMBRACE.
Founded in December 2013, Cape Town EMBRACE is working to address inequalities in the Mother City by connecting the parents and caregivers of young children in vulnerable contexts with fellow caring citizens. By empowering both parties to maximise each child’s development and potential together, and by encouraging the expansion of social networks and the sharing of resources, the movement is starting to shift the power dynamics and segregation in the city.
Now, reflecting on the spirit of Universal Children’s Day which aims to prioritise the rights of children and applying it to Cape Town, Cape Town EMBRACE’s celebratory event is titled: ‘Kids @ the Centre’. Custom designed by environmentally, culturally and socially sensitive SA concept designer, Danielle Ehrlich, it will be constructed to be most accessible and exciting for children under 12.
Hosted with the support of the Cape Town Partnership and City Walk Saturdays, and in collaboration with over ten different Western Cape based organisations dedicated to the promotion and wellbeing of children, Kids @ the Centre will offer a multitude of activity stations that highlight its theme: ‘Seen. Heard. Celebrated.’ And, to ensure that all children feel welcome and enjoy the day, the selected activities have been chosen to accommodate their changing energetic needs and includes songs and games in different languages and from different cultural backgrounds.
“We want to show Cape Town what it would look like if we came together to create a child-friendly city – one that supports and nurtures all our children. Research shows that an investment in children is directly linked to economic development. But more importantly, each and every child in the city deserves to reach their life potential. Adults hold the key to this. By providing caregivers with the chance to connect not only with their children, but with other adults too, we hope to create the circumstances that allow strangers to become friends through a shared experience and leading them to the kinds of social connections that will benefit us all,” concludes Mentor.
Cape Town EMBRACE aims to achieve solidarity rather than charity and, supporting the event and helping as many families as possible to attend, the HCI Foundation will be providing transport for children and caregivers in Cape Town EMBRACE’s Khayelitsha, Delft and Vrygrond networks. Signs from Cape Town station will show the way for those travelling by train and all guests are encouraged to bring their own picnic blankets and refreshments. More details on the day will be available on the Cape Town Embrace website, www.embrace.org.za, and Facebook page, @CapeTownEmbrace from 28 October 2016
Date: Saturday 19 November
Time: 10.00 – 14.00
Venue: The Company’s Garden, Cape Town
For more information on Cape Town EMBRACE, resources to help support young children and their caregivers in Cape Town and details on how to get involved, visit the Cape Town EMBRACE website at www.embrace.org.za