The following was published by the Bedfordview and Edenvale News.

Read the original story here.

Originally published on 5 May 2015.

Eastleigh Primary School councillors lead sponsors in placing over 500 names on the Tiles4Change wall at the Karaglen Shopping Centre on Thursday.

The initiative, launched by the Karaglen Shopping Centre and supported by the SAPS, the NEWS, Mamba Strike Force, the Edenvale Community Police Forum (ECPF), Edenvale Rand Road Warriors and Pizzazz Entertainment, aims to create a drug-free Edenvale.

Speaking to pupils at the event, Mr Harry Karamichael who is the owner of Karaglen SuperSpar, told pupils to look around and see all the community entities which support them.

“You have made a pledge to help Edenvale become drug-free and we are here to support you in making that a reality,” said Mr Karamichael.

In October last year, nearly 1 000 school pupils marched to the Karaglen Shopping Centre to launch Tiles4Change.

On the day, hundreds of tiles were sold to school pupils who pledged to be the change they wanted to see in Edenvale.

Drug and substance abuse has plagued Edenvale for a number of years but through the initiative, it is hoped there will be a growing trend in children saying no to drugs.

“By encouraging young children to be drug-free, we hope to make a difference in the choices they make going forward. Children are our future and the change that needs to happen will only materialise when the youth have the trust and support of the community,” said Mr Karamichael.

Children who previously bought a tile for the initiative are encouraged to visit the centre, find their name on the wall and take a picture.

Pictures can then be uploaded to the Tiles4Change Facebook Page.

“Our next aim is to get business on board. We challenge all local businesses to support this cause at R1 000 per business tile,” said Mr Karamichael.

All funds raised through the initiative will be used to fund anti-drug initiatives in Edenvale schools.

To date, over R100 000 has been raised through various events.

A number of other charity organisations have also benefitted from Tiles4Change initiative, including the Edenvale SPCA.

“Last week, Tiles4Change received a R37 000 donation from the Edenvale Rand Road Warriors. We cannot thank them enough for their generosity,” said Mr Karamichael.

Tiles4Change recently joined hands with the Edenvale Rand Road Warriors to launch an initiative which will encourage youngsters to stay off drugs and keep fit.

“We cannot release too much information on this initiative yet, but we hope to have the children become actively involved in sports to show them there are other alternatives than getting involved with drugs,” said Mr Karamichael.

Tiles for Tiles4Change are available from Karaglen SuperSpar and cost R10 for school pupils, R50 for adults and R1 000 for businesses.