Giving meaning to moral values

29 October 2004

MORE than 500 people marched down Oxford Street in East London on Wednesday, 27 October, to celebrate the birth of the Moral Regeneration Movement in the Eastern Cape.

The march, organised by the province's department of education, aimed to highlight the role education could play in enlightening communities - particularly the youth - about the importance of moral regeneration.

The department also wanted to strengthen its partnerships with local authorities, the religious community, NGOs and the community to rebuild and enrich the moral fibre of youth in the province.

Speaking on the steps of the City Hall, the MEC for education, Mkhangeli Matomela, said the Moral Regeneration Movement could only achieve its goal by empowering the youth with the "most powerful tool available - knowledge".

According to Matomela, the building of moral values in schools is a necessary requirement for the fight against immoral behaviour.

"We also need to promote family values. If we can do that we will have done half the job we need to do in our quest to revive moral behaviour in our society," said Matomela.

The Moral Regeneration Movement would also play a role in fighting corruption in the province. "We've discovered that many corrupt officials are the youth. We need instil discipline into these future leaders while they're still young," Matomela added.

A two-day summit was also held at the Regent Hotel on the East London Esplanade to discuss ways to implement the Moral Regeneration Movement.

Premier Nosimo Balindlela said she was happy the department of education had taken the initiative to lead the Moral Regeneration Movement in the province.

"But now our greatest challenge is how to make these values our shared values and make them have real meaning to ordinary men, women and children in their everyday life," said Balindlela.

With moral decay rife in society, Balindlela added that for the future of the country to be bright, the youth needed to be targeted and taught about the value of morals in their lives. The family also needed to be a safe place for the young.

"We hear of the abuse of infants, sexual abuse and other gruesome acts in what should be the safest place in society. We need to address that."

Balindlela called for people to work together in the challenge that awaits the province and its people.

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Marching down Oxford Street.

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