Projects Abroad Human Rights Office – Cape Town, South Africa – Monthly Reports
Projects Abroad Human Rights Office - Cape town - Monthly reports - June 2011
Bonnytoun – This month started with volunteers delving into their creative side and producing their own raps to perform to the boys. The aim was to try and get the boys interested through music and get them to write their own raps/songs. Volunteers then decided to address an issue which was important to the boys – court proceedings. All of these boys have found themselves caught up in the justice system and so such a topic is of great relevance to them. Their feedback showed that they really appreciated the workshop and they were grateful to learn about something which relates to their situation. The workshop was light-hearted and didn't contain anything too heavy which meant that the boys kept focus and learnt from it. We have found this to be the key to getting through to the boys at Bonnytoun. They shut off with workshops that are too full of information, but if things are delivered in a simpler form then they pay much more attention.
The Women's Shelters: Sisters Incorporated and St. Anne's – This month there were some issues with small numbers of women at the shelter and so sometimes some of the workshops had to be cancelled. However some work was done this month with the women with sessions being based on women's rights; a subject extremely relevant to the women at these shelters and a topic which we reiterate over and over because it is so important.
Khayelitsha – SiyaKhathala – House visits were carried out this month with our volunteers being taken around by Siyakhathala's own volunteers so that they could understand the process that the organisation goes through in supporting the children. These home visits are done to check up on the children who have been noted as 'at risk'. Volunteers also prepared and delivered a series of workshops for Siyakhathala, namely 'one man can'. This curriculum focuses on promoting the idea that each one of us can create a better, more equitable and more just world. The main goal being to support young males in becoming responsible young adults.
Free Gender – This month progress had been made in securing funding for a conference to be held by Free Gender in August. Volunteers are in the process of assisting them with the implementation of this conference. As well as this, a group of 2 week special volunteers, with the help of Free Gender, did much research on corrective rape, as well as a presentation about the subject and how change is needed within South Africa regarding this issue.
Manenberg Boys – One of our volunteers is currently spending his time drawing up a proposal for a community centre in Manenberg. There has also been a focus on arranging a mass clean up effort in Manenberg to assist those living there to clean up their area and learn how to take care and appreciate their surroundings. We are getting as many volunteers involved in this initiative as possible.
Manenberg Girls – This month the girls were taken on an excursion to the Wetlands, a park area within Manenberg itself. The girls enjoyed the visit and the guide who showed them around on the day was very inspirational, even offering for the girls to spend time volunteering at the park themselves or to at least visit them if they needed some calm, to get away from the stresses of their everyday lives. Each of the girls were given a plant to take home as a memento of their day. Such excursions are what the girls have been requesting we do with them and it seems to be the thing they respond to the most. For these girls who have barely had the opportunity to leave Manenberg, exploring their city is creating a whole new perspective in their lives.
YEP Clan - This project is still in its early days but so far has been running fairly smoothly. Volunteers have been giving up their Saturdays to meet with the YEP Clan and set in motion the process of arranging activities for the group of girls from Khayelitsha. Activities such as a book club, make-up and hygiene classes and activities/workshops based around issues that girls of this age group are going through are all being discussed and will hopefully be set in motion in the coming months.
Mock Trial/Debating Workshop – This has not yet started but much of the ground work has been taking place this month. This is a project which will be taking off in the month of July with volunteers working with different groups of youths, carrying out workshops to teach them debating techniques and then having them put these into practise during their mock trials. They will be performing their mock trial at the Wynberg Magistrate Court in front of an advocate with parents and friends being invited to the proceedings.
PAHRO has also been preparing a proposal this month to apply for funding for a training program which we are looking to set up in Khayelitsha and Manenberg. This is based around skills development workshops for youth groups to enable community development and job creation. The types of skills which will be involved include metal and wood work, fashion design, business skills and working with leather. We are hopeful that this will be sent within the month of July and these workshops can be started.
Lavender Hill – Volunteers continue to visit Lavender Hill every Tuesday alongside our Legal Services Coordinator Maria. Currently the number of clients requiring our advice and assistance is slowing but we continue to assist those who require our help.
We have also begun carrying out research into the necessity of another legal clinic, similar to what we do at Lavender Hill, which will be started in another area of Cape Town. This is an idea which may take some time to come to fruition but we are excited by the prospect of spreading our wings to another possible area.