Charity Community Action for a Safer Environment aim to take violence out of the lives of children living in South Africa’s Cape Flats
Founded in 2001, CASE is a charity organisation, which counsels people affected by violence and empowers them to play a part in healing their communities, and assists children being raised in violent environments from becoming violent adults. It is run by volunteers of all ages from the community of Hanover Park and has become an effective catalyst for transformation in the area. According to crime statistics, every month about 100 people are shot dead in the Western Cape with 18% being gang-related and over the past decade murder rates have more than doubled in the area of the Cape Flats. Hanover Park is especially rife with violent crimes. By some estimates, more than 40% of men report having being physically violent towards a partner, and about 50% of women report having being victims of domestic violence.
“For the children of the Cape flats area, violence is a daily reality and with this commercial we are hoping to break the cycle and not let it shape their future,” says Mimi Cooper, Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi. “Many South Africans have ‘charity fatigue’ and many don’t even realise what a big issue gang and domestic violence is, so we needed to develop a TVC that would raise awareness of the organisation and also get people to donate through a highly powerful message. We essentially needed to put the viewer in the shoes of those affected, the children,” she explains. “Most people are concerned with their children watching violence on TV, but for people in the Cape Flats, violence is real.”
The commercial features a little boy watching TV. There are violent sounds, which appear to be coming from the TV. However the TV is actually off, and the sounds are coming from within the house where this vulnerable child is sitting. It ends with a powerful message: “Break the Cycle of Violence and donate”.
Although community leaders in South Africa describe the figures as ‘horrific’ and blame the crimes on violent youth running amok with guns and inadequate policing, there are many organisations similar to CASE who are actively trying to make a difference within the community.
“We need help to keep up the good work of those people living in the Cape Flats area to shape the innocent children’s lives into something more positive,” says Lane Benjamin, founder of CASE. “We know we cant stop the crimes but we do want to protect our future leaders and children from letting it shape their future. MEC Dan Plato once said, the area needs targeted, sustained and specialised interventions and with the support of South Africans that is exactly what we will continue to do for our youth in the area,” concludes Benjamin.