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Project honours renowned late journalist

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Aggrey Klaaste project to focus on the upliftment of communities

The Klaaste family in Kimberley yesterday.

THE MEMORY and legacy of renowned late journalist Aggrey Klaaste has been highlighted in the Northern Cape after his family brought his nation building initiative home to Kimberley.

Klaaste, who was born in Greenpoint, was one of the first black editor of Sowetan newspaper in the late 1980s.

Klaaste’s son, Jerome Klaaste, said yesterday that the family had decided to forge ahead with the work his father started by reaching out to the people in his community.

“We are honouring the memory of father through this project.

“My father championed the project in the late 1980s during a very turbulent time in the country. We all know the struggles our people faced during apartheid and what difficulties they went through.

“Our country was in a state of crisis back then. We had to do some research to find out what exactly made my father ‘tick’ when we decided to carry on with the project and how he built the nation,” said Jerome.

He added that the project focussed on the upliftment of communities.

“There are three areas we focus on, namely education, small business development and community building. We identified these vital pillars as blocks for building our nation. These areas play an important role in the upliftment of communities and addressing social challenges we are currently facing.

“We are working with the Sol Plaatje University as well as the Sol Plaatje Municipality to identify areas where we can assist communities and let everyone become part of nation building.

“We also have a firm of attorneys, DM5, who assist us with women empowerment matters. These initiatives are all aimed at building up our people and empowering them.”

Jerome said that they especially focussed on education, to lay a firm foundation in nation building.

“We have partnered with the Read Educational Trust where we encourage a culture of reading through nation building. We are reaching out to children at early development centres (ECD) as we want reading to grow with them from the ECD stage until when they go to university. We will be donating books to ECD centres in Kimberley.

“We hope that communities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including community organisations in the city, will take our hand and assist us with this initiative.

“My father did not build communities alone. He stood on the shoulders of giants who assisted him in building the nation. We are hoping to build many everlasting relationships.”

Jerome said that they will be launching the Aggrey Klaaste Trust (AKT) next year and would expand the initiative.