In gang-ridden Atlantis, Gun Free SA sends the message that guns aren’t fun

Gun Free South Africa works to eradicate toy guns among children in Atlantis, one of many communities in the Western Cape facing high levels of gun violence.

CAPE TOWN – Guns are no fun!

This is the message that Gun Free South Africa brings to the children of the Atlantis community in the Western Cape.

The organization has partnered with area early childhood development centers to organize education and awareness programs for teachers, children and parents.

Gun Free South Africa works to eradicate toy guns among children in Atlantis, one of many communities in the Western Cape facing high levels of gun violence.

Monique Hansen of the organization said that over the years they had noticed an increasing number of children in the gang-affected area playing with toy guns.

She said it is uncertain whether children who play with toy guns will continue to use real guns in the future, but it is concerning as they are exposed to high levels of gun violence on a daily basis. .

“When we give a gun to a child, we send a message that guns are fun and we approve of guns, so children also get mixed messages. In South Africa, a country traumatized by violence, we want to give children the right message: guns are not fun.”

Hansen said one program involved getting children to throw their toy guns into a fire and in exchange, they received an educational toy.