GO GEORGE drama group tackles vandalism

Suffering huge losses annually due to vandalism of its infrastructure and vehicles, the GO GEORGE bus service has embarked on a multi-pronged anti-vandalism campaign, now also including a short play by a group of communication champions addressing this issue.

After a year of Covid-19 restrictions and cautious engagement with the public, including their regular school visits, the GO GEORGE communication champions have recommenced their outreach to schools where limited numbers of students at a time and fully compliant with Covid-19 safety regulations are addressed on important topics such as vandalism and the rules of carriage.

According to James Robb, GO GEORGE Manager, the communication team had to think creatively about conveying the shocking message about the impact of vandalism and the consequences for the perpetrators themselves.

“The senseless vandalism of the bus service’s infrastructure prompted us to address the youngsters in their language to get their cooperation to help us prevent this kind of behaviour when they happen to witness any such incidents,” said Robb. “When we used this medium to engage with learners before the Covid lockdown, it was clear that we had struck a chord, judging from the participation of the audience and the extent to which they absolutely enjoyed the fine humour.

“We find that this way of explaining the reasons for rules on the buses and the impact of destructive behaviour is most effective and plan to use it increasingly to drive home important messages to the public. And of course, it was not difficult at all to find enough voluntary actors and talented comedians among the champions for a brief production, adding variety to their daily task of engaging, assisting, guiding and educating passengers.”

Role play highlighting consequences

Encouraging respect for others and public property, the anti-vandalism play also touches on the criminality of damaging public property, the possibility of going to jail for these senseless acts, and the negative impact of a criminal record on the perpetrators’ future employment prospects. 

The feedback from high schools that have already been visited is overwhelmingly positive. In addition to the learners enjoying the witty presentation “in their language”, relating and taking it to heart, principals say that the message of respect for other people and public property is universally applicable and welcomed.

A puppet theatre to engage with younger children is also on the cards.

Schools interested in a visit from the GO GEORGE team are welcome to phone the GO GEORGE Call Centre on 0800 044 044 and leave a message. Adherence to Covid-19 protocol is top priority and will be discussed with interested parties.

CAPTIONS: Vandalism drama group: The GO GEORGE drama group visited Van Kervel School last week with their anti-vandalism play. There was a lot of giggles and enthusiastic clapping as students recognised the typical characters in their own communities being portrayed by the champions.


GO GEORGE-dramagroep pak vandalisme

Groot jaarlikse verliese as gevolg van vandalisme van sy infrastruktuur en voertuie het die GO GEORGE-busdiens genoop om ‘n veelvoudige veldtog teen vandalisme van stapel te stuur, ook met ‘n kort opvoering deur ‘n groep passasiersdiensbeamptes.

‘n “Vandaal” wat op heterdaad betrap is, word goed uitgetrap deur ‘n passasiersdiensbeampte wat hom stof tot nadenke gee oor sy optrede

Ná ‘n jaar van Covid-19-beperkings en versigtige betrokkenheid by die publiek, insluitende hul gereelde skoolbesoeke, het die GO GEORGE-passasiersdiensbeamptes hul uitreik na skole hervat waar beperkte getalle studente op ‘n slag, streng volgens Covid-19-veiligheidsregulasies, oor belangrike onderwerpe soos vandalisme en die reëls van busvervoer toegelig word.

Volgens James Robb, GO GEORGE-bestuurder, moes die kommunikasiespan kreatief dink oor die aanbieding van die skokkende boodskap oor die impak van vandalisme en die gevolge vir die oortreders self.

“Die sinnelose vandalisme van die busdiens se infrastruktuur het ons laat besluit om die jongelinge in hul taal aan te spreek om hul samewerking te kry om ons te help om hierdie soort gedrag te voorkom wanneer hulle sulke voorvalle sien gebeur,” sê Robb. “Toe ons voor die Covid-inperking hierdie medium van drama gebruik het om met leerders in gesprek te tree, was dit duidelik dat ons op die regte snare tokkel, te oordeel aan die deelname van die gehoor en die mate waartoe hulle die fyn humor absoluut geniet het.

“Ons vind dat dié metode om die redes vir reëls op die busse en die impak van vernietigende gedrag te verduidelik, die doeltreffendste is en beplan om dit toenemend te gebruik om belangrike boodskappe by die publiek tuis te bring. En natuurlik was dit glad nie moeilik om genoeg vrywillige akteurs en talentvolle komediante onder die passasiersdiensbeamptes te vind vir ‘n kort produksie nie, wat welkome verskeidenheid bydra tot hul daaglikse taak om passasiers by te staan, te lei en in te lig.”

Rolspel beklemtoon die gevolge

Die anti-vandalisme-opvoering moedig respek aan vir ander mense en openbare eiendom, beklemtoon dat die beskadiging van openbare eiendom ‘n kriminele oortreding is wat tot tronkstraf kan lei, en die negatiewe impak van ‘n kriminele rekord op die oortreders se toekomstige indiensnemingsvooruitsigte. 

Die terugvoer van hoërskole wat reeds besoek is, is oorweldigend positief. Benewens die leerders wat die pittige aanbieding “in hul taal” geniet en dit ter harte neem, sê skoolhoofde dat die boodskap van respek vir ander mense en openbare eiendom universeel van toepassing en baie welkom is.

‘n Poppeteater om met jonger kinders te kommunikeer, is ook in die vooruitsig.

Skole wat belangstel in ‘n besoek van die GO GEORGE-span is welkom om die GO GEORGE-inbelsentrum by 0800 044 044 te skakel en ‘n boodskap te laat. Nakoming van Covid-19-protokol is top prioriteit en sal met belangstellendes bespreek word.

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