For all its natural beauty, the greater Cape Town area is a dangerous place for a child.
The ravages of drug and alcohol abuse, the normalising of violence and abuse, and extremely high incidences of HIV/Aids infection, have left thousands of Cape Town’s children and young people vulnerable.
- Drug abuse: Over the past decade, addiction rates to Methamphetamine (or Tik as it is known in Afrikaans) on the Cape Flats have surpassed all other global trends. According to local experts, nowhere else in the world has there been such a massive increase in the use of a drug by young people over such a short period of time.
- Alcohol abuse: The Western Cape also has the highest incidence of foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in the world. It is currently estimated that between 70 and 80 per 1000 babies born in the Western Cape, have the syndrome.
- Violence: Many children and young people are the victims of, and witnesses to, both domestic violence and gang-related violence on the streets. In a recent Cape study, a quarter of adult men acknowledged having witnessed, as children, the abuse of their mothers.
- HIV/AIDS: Khayelitsha has one of the highest incidences of HIV infection in South Africa, with 27 % of adults being infected. Reliable estimates suggest that there are 14 000 orphans in Khayelitsha, the majority as a result of the Aids pandemic.
Amidst these somewhat overwhelming statistics, we have witnessed the positive results of Music Interventions, and these strengthen our belief that music offers hopeful alternatives.