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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR GIVE US A PIECE OF YOUR MIND

You CAN enrich your life
 
Living in South Africa can be harsh at times with the high rate of unemployment, but we can enrich our own lives. All unemployed people and students can do volunteer work to gain training and experience that will help them to get jobs. You can also read every day as it will improve your language, writing and reading skills. When you have no money, you can offer to do household work for a neighbour or relative for extra money. Do a basic computer course, visit the library; it's free to work on the computer there. You can make a success of your future; you can choose to make the best of your life. 
 
- Meredith Goeieman, Reiger Park, Gauteng
 
Respect the disabled
 
Nobody is perfect and I think nobody is really normal. If you see how some people treat the disabled, you will be shocked. They are often treated like they don't exist or like animals. But they can make a difference and there are some things they can do even better than the able bodied people who criticise them! 
 
- Bianca Matlou, Makgofe, Limpopo
 
Plight of blind students
 
I am concerned about the plight of blind students in nstitutions of higher learning in South Africa. They struggle to read all the material available at these institutions as there are usually no alternative formats like Braille or audio available to them. They are often expected to use the same resources as the sighted students, which puts them at a great disadvantage. Let's make an effort to provide the basic rights for every South African 
 
- Busi Mbiyo, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
 
Stand up and make things happen
 
Time wasted is never regained. As a young person I've realised that you have to stand up for yourself and make things happen. After I passed matric, I couldn't find a job. Then I heard about volunteering and attended a course. I'm now a volunteer fire fighter and a pre-Abet adult educator. I'm proud about what I'm doing for my community. Many youth stay at home while their community needs their help. They say they can't work for free. But it's for their own benefit. Please, guys, you can do something about your own future. 
 
- Fredah Mokgawa, Botlokwa, Limpopo
 
Alcohol destroys lives
 
Alcohol does not have respect for anyone. It can best be described as a disease that can be cured. But it is sad that people don't realise that they are suffering from this disease. Alcoholics would do anything for a drink no matter how harmful it is to them. They destroy their own lives. They neglect their physical appearance, stay out of work, are careless with money and their homes. They have no self control and engage in unsafe sex. This demon can be stopped if only they are really willing to seek help and stop it! 
 
- Atsile Slender Mampe, Morokweng, North-West
 
You inspired me
 
The article about surviving the rise in food prices in the May edition of your magazine, inspired me to follow your advice. I planted a very beautiful vegetable garden in my yard and it is growing well. When I need vegetables like spinach and beetroot, I don't have to go to the shop, because my garden is my free of charge "vegetable shop". 
 
- Emily Mathe, Lindley, Free State
 
Encouraged to wait
 
I live in a rural area where there's a very successful platinum mine. There is overpopulation in this area with over a million mine workers from all over South Africa, as well as from foreign countries. Teenage pregnancy, diseases, and drug and alcohol abuse are a big issue. Vuk'uzenzele encourages me to wait until I'm older to have sex, because I don't want to be irresponsible and become a teenage mom. I don't allow myself to be pressurised into having sex because Vuk'uzenzele taught me how to stand my ground and to say "no". 
 
- Dineo Mokoena, Heidelberg, Gauteng.
 
Curb teen pregnancy
 
Through teen pregnancy, problems like poverty, HIV and Aids, and single-parent families are increasing. Why don't we introduce a chastity grant - reward young girls for being virgins and let us entice them to wait a little longer! If, for example, a girl stays a virgin from 14 to 25, she should be rewarded for not exposing herself to HIV and other social problems. 
 
- Ndzuzo Novuka, Mdantsane, Eastern Cape
 
Don't risk your health and your life
 
Teenage pregnancy is a problem, but young girls who fall pregnant still have a chance of making a life for themselves after having a baby. What scares me more than pregnancy is that when young girls fall pregnant they are also at risk of getting HIV and Aids, not to mention all the other sexually transmitted diseases that are out there. However, I don't think a lot of my peers think this way. I'm not a perfect teen and I do make mistakes, but I'm wise enough not to make mistakes that could put my health and my life in danger. 
 
- Philadelphia Dipheko, Ganyesa, North West