Stage droit en Afrique du Sud
Projects Abroad Human Rights Office - Cape town - Monthly reports - April 2012
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.
Vrygrond Mock Trial
After deliberations we decided to stop the mock trial sessions in Ruyterwacht as we were unable to drum together enough interest from youth that had not done the mock trial previously. We then decided to move the project to Vrygrond where we found a group of 14 or so youths who have finished high school but have no direction in life. We are working in partnership with another organisation ‘Fit for Life, Fit for work’ who are working full time with these kids, helping to get them off the streets and brighten their future.
Workshops have continued through April with our volunteers conducting 2 workshops with the ladies every Monday. The computer course is going well with the ladies learning quickly. They have focused a lot on typing this month, basic skills such as where the letters are placed on the keyboard and how to type using all of their fingers. To make it more interesting for the ladies volunteers started to do timed exercises so that the women have a small competition going amongst them. In their afternoon workshops we have continued to speak to the women about relevant issues such as nutrition.
April has seen us begin working with Free Gender again. This is a black lesbian organisation with one of their main focuses being corrective rape. Corrective rape is when a man rapes a woman whom he believes to be a lesbian in order to ‘correct’ her. This is a very serious crime within South Africa however it has not been taken seriously by the justice system and the perpetrators of such crimes rarely get brought to trial with trials being postponed over and over again. Volunteers have begun working on preparing a poster and an information brochure which will be used to inform the police, victims and other NGO’s of the seriousness of corrective rape. They are also looking into preparing some training material for the police who have admitted that they are not as aware of corrective rape as they should be. We are hoping that this will help the police to be more understanding when they receive cases of corrective rape.
Legal case work within the office is still increasing with new cases coming in most days. We have been kept busy with our legal clinics and volunteers continue to enjoy the exposure these clinics bring, giving them a chance to visit different communities and meet with clients in their own environment.