Projects Abroad Human Rights Office – Cape Town, South Africa – Monthly Reports
Projects Abroad Human Rights Office - Cape town - Monthly reports - March 2011
Bonnytoun – The Bonnytoun move has not yet been confirmed and so we have still been visiting the boys at the usual place. PAHRO has decided to continue with the Bonnytoun project, regardless of the move to a much further location. The schedule however will be slightly changed in that volunteers will visit the boys once a week for the full day, and this will be a more efficient use of their time and will mean that the extended travel time will not be such an issue. This has meant that volunteers have to plan for a full day's workshop; trying to keep the boys attention for such a period of time will not be easy so a lot of planning and organising is necessary before these workshops are to take place. Until the move is executed though volunteers are continuing to visit the boys at the usual place. This month a new program was started. It began by showing the boys a DVD which dealt with many issues, including drugs, gangs, violence and so on. The boys seemed very engaged and in the next visit the volunteers split the boys into groups and discussed some of the issues dealt with in the film, getting the boys opinions and perspectives.
The Women's Shelters: Sisters Incorporated and St' Anne's – This month there have been a number of things preventing volunteers from really getting stuck into the new 2 month plan which was set out for St Anne's. There have been a number of cancelled sessions and lack of preparation from both sides has led to very little productivity this month. However we are ensuring that this is turned around and that communication between us and the shelter is better maintained allowing us to maximise our productivity with our workshops. Sisters Inc. however has been more regular this month with the ladies there requesting advice and assistance from our volunteers who then return to the office to research into these issues for them.
MyLife – There are three communities within the Cape Flats area which we are looking to work with. We want to educate the children, both male and female, who have dropped out of school. The children that are found on the street mainly come from these communities and we want to try and identify the reasons why. PAHRO is assisting MyLife with this project. This is set to be a 2 month program.
School Youth Empowerment Programme – This project broke down as the children involved were not committed to it. They failed to turn up to the sessions or arrived late and failed to take any of the work seriously. It was then decided that volunteers time could be better utilised. There is a new, similar project in the pipeline which volunteers are currently working on. This would again involve the youth, 16-17 years of age, and there would be a focus on AIDS/HIV workshops.
Khayelitsha (Sex Education Workshops) – These workshops began as a response to the high number of child pregnancies within schools in Khayelitsha and the complete lack of sex education currently being taught in schools. There was a huge turn out. We expected numbers to be around 30, but around 80 children aged 11-15 showed up. Boys and girls were separated into their relevant sexes and educated separately about their responsibilities regarding sex and the use of protection. The children seemed to find the workshop interesting and although there were sniggers from some of the boys, a small amount of this behaviour was to be expected. The only issue was that we were unsure how graphic the workshop was allowed to be. To begin with the school stated that the more graphic the better, encouraging the children to learn and realise how serious a matter it is. Volunteers had videos to show the children but they were told by the principal to tone it down and not given permission to play the videos as they were too graphic for the children and would only give them ideas.
Lavender Hill – Visits to Lavender Hill have not been as regular this month as there is currently a backlog of cases which still need to be worked on and taken back to the women there. So many women were turning up for the consultations every Tuesday that the few volunteers involved in this project were just becoming overwhelmed by the work load as a result. It was thought that time should first be spent working on the current Lavender Hill cases before any more are taken on. There is also a plan to start doing workshops at Lavender Hill every other Tuesday or at least once a month which will educate the women on some of the main issues which we are continuously finding the women to have.
Manenberg Boys – 8 boys from Manenberg were taken on a trip around Cape Town where they visited Cape Point, District Six Museum, the Holocaust Museum and Muizenberg beach. These boys rarely get to experience life out of Manenberg and it was great to allow them to take their mind off their troubles and see them enjoy themselves. You can read about this further on the Self Help Manenberg page of the website.
Maneneberg Girls – Whilst work with the boys in Manenberg is going well, work with the girls group has been slow moving. However a 2 month programme is currently being put in place, setting out different topics to discuss with the girls. The main area of focus is going to be 'Empowerment of Women', with the hope of getting the girls to shoot a public service announcement at the end of the 2 months.
Wynberg Magistrates Court Visits – Volunteers have on a number of occasions visited the Magistrates Court this month. They were shown around the courts and able to sit in on some of the trials.