Projects Abroad Human Rights Office – Cape Town, South Africa – Monthly Reports
Projects Abroad Human Rights Office - Cape town - Monthly reports - January 2011
Legal Clinics - Two more legal clinics were held in communities in Dodowa. Volunteers first held focus group discussions to determine levels of understanding of issues and which issues were most pertinent to provide legal education. PAHO returned to give presentations on child maintenance, marriage and intestacy with Legal Aid. Follow-up mediations will take place in February.
Domestic Violence - Volunteers worked all month to plan a big domestic violence quiz in Latebiokoshie. There were six schools invited with 2 contestants per school: one boy and one girl. Each school brought 20 students to sit in the audience. The participants went through three rounds: written, oral yes/no and extended oral response. Each participating school got an English dictionary, a book on sexual abuse and a certificate of participation. The first place school got a World History Encyclopaedia. First, second and third place contestants each received prizes and every participant received examinations books while audience members got pens. The event was a great success. It clearly had encouraged the children and their teachers to focus very hard on the domestic violence material previously taught by PAHO volunteers and the impression that these children had really benefitted from this event was highly evident.
Immigrant Begging - Volunteers have been conducting interviews with health officials, police and street vendors who are located near to where the children beg. They have been getting some useful information. Soon the volunteers will start to build a relationship with the child beggars and possibly the adults in order to being interviews.
HR Focal Persons - This project has continued this month with high praise from communities. PAHO along with two representatives from DOVVSU conducted training for around 30 representatives from various businesses and organisations in Tema, New Town. In addition, there were five separate training sessions conducted again with the assistance of DOVVSU - this time for teachers on Fundamental Human Rights and Domestic Violence. The Human Rights Activity Packets were distributed to each school. We continue to get requests for further trainings.
Offender's Rights - A volunteer who is a recent graduate in criminology started his own project on offender's rights: during the arrest and throughout the entire justice process (jail, court proceedings, etc.) He has been engaging police officers and NGOs in the discourse. Next month he hopes to set up some kind of community program to ensure both police and offenders are aware of offender's rights.
Cape Town, South Africa
Bonnytoun – This month, volunteers went back to Bonnytoun after a break over Christmas and the New Year. They have been discussing 'life after Bonnytoun' with the boys, specifically focusing on CV writing and interview techniques. Workshops looked at 'focus and concentration' and have been well received by the boys. There has been a shift around with the project leader of Bonnytoun leaving us this month and some fresh faces joining the office and getting involved in the Bonnytoun project.
Sisters Incorporated and St' Anne's – Volunteers visited the women's shelters this month and met the new influx of women. Time has been spent getting to know the women and forming a relationship with them to gain their trust. Volunteers have been gathering ideas for future workshops which will be of interest to the women.
My Life – This is a new project that started this month. 'My life' is an organisation that offers support to homeless people. One of our volunteers has been spending time with them and their own volunteers, finding out where PAHRO can assist them. My Life is currently assisting 26 homeless people who were attacked by the police and had their possessions seized. They were later released but their possessions were not returned to them. PAHRO is working to assist them with getting these possessions back and following up the incident with the police.
Empowerment of Young Women Programme – This is another new project which is in its early days. The idea behind the project is to empower young women by educating them about their rights, whilst also discussing with young boys the issue of gender based violence. Volunteers plan to visit schools to start a programme consisting of a mock trial, debate, sports day and advocacy programme. This month the lead volunteer involved in this project has met with the principals of a variety of schools in which the programme is going to be run to confirm their involvement and discuss the schedule of events
AIDS/HIV Research – We currently have a volunteer, who is researching the effect of NGO's and Government implanting ARV's and how they are implementing safe sex practices. He has set up and attended many meetings with different organisations who are prevalent in this area and received guidance and assistance from these organisations to aid him in his research.
Lavender Hill – Visits to Lavender Hill started up again at the beginning of the month. New volunteers are now attending and opening new cases with the women there who require our assistance.