Projects Abroad Human Rights Office – Cape Town, South Africa – Monthly Reports
Monthly Reports from 2012
As December is the festive month most of the Social Justice Programs have been closed due to school holidays or the lack of people at the programs. December is always a quiet month for the Social Justice Department at PAHRO as many of our partner organisations are closed for Christmas and so projects are put on hold.
St Anne’s – We did a Workshop on Gender Equality, we did this in a presentation format with the participation of the women. It was an amazing workshop as the women did not know that everyone has the same rights no matter what gender or race and through this workshop the women were empowered to stand up for their rights and what they believe in.
This has been an event full month with 2 Global events taking place, World Homeless Day & World Food Day. We also had the Global Gap volunteers start with us, so we are looking forward to the next couple of weeks working with all the volunteers and using their skills and knowledge in order to achieve results for clients.
Bonnytoun – This month the boys at Bonnytoun wanted to learn more about Apartheid, the different World Wars and South Africa’s role in each major event. Bonnytoun also had a Cultural Day so we were unable to carry out a full workshop as the kids were still hyped up from their event.
Women’s Month – This August PAHRO has been focussing on Women as this month is all about the beauty, strength & courage of women. We have had various workshops teaching the importance of being a women and respecting the women in our lives. Many of the people at the facilities we regularly visit have told us beautiful and heartbreaking stories about themselves as women or the women in their lives.
Nelson Mandela Day – The month of July is a huge month for celebrations in South Africa. Nelson Mandela’s birthday is celebrated on the 18th July and everyone is encouraged to give 67 minutes of their time to help others. For the Human Rights Office we wanted to do something a little different to the work we usually do and so we organised to have a soup kitchen in one of the townships.
This month volunteers found out just how bad the mindset of the boys in Bonnytoun is. They believe that because they are ‘criminals’ they will not amount to anything more once they’re out. They voiced how they believe they will not find jobs and believed they would never be able to complete their schooling or return to education because of their criminal pasts. This encouraged our volunteers to look into ways that they can be rehabilitated once they are out and how they can be supported to get educated and find jobs.
This month we got to spend more time at Bonnytoun and got to work with all the different dorms. Volunteers did some different ice breakers with the boys as well as a treasure hunt where the boys searched for sweets and a soccer tournament which the boys always enjoy. Some of the boys can be difficult and it was decided that we would need to take a stricter approach with them.
Our work at Bonnytoun is still being received well by the boys there. This month volunteers have given the boys an insight into each of their own home countries which the boys were really interested in. We have volunteers here from a variety of countries including Thailand, South Korea, Canada and Norway and the boys benefit greatly from hearing about other cultures and countries. They were also shown some currency from each of the countries and told about different customs and traditions.
This month saw the South African public holiday ‘Human Rights Day’. The 21st March is a day in which we remember the massacres in Sharpeville and other parts of South Africa. On this day in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid pass laws. Although the apartheid laws have been abolished there are still many human rights violations taking place within South Africa every day.
This month one of the focuses at Bonnytoun has been the topic of ‘drugs’ and how taking them can affect the people around you and your future. Many of the boys have had first hand experience with drugs and so rather than go in and preach to the boys about how drugs are bad and their side effects, volunteers wanted to come in with a different angle.
January has continued to be quiet in terms of projects as many of them are still on shut down from the Christmas and New Year period. Volunteer numbers however have been at one of our highest we’ve seen in January and we’ve had a lot of people working hard on legal cases as well as planning for future workshops for the projects that continued to run.