Stage droit en Afrique du Sud
Projects Abroad Human Rights Office - Cape town - Monthly reports - February 2012
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. Most of the boys responded well and some talked of their experiences with drugs. Although some of the boys said that they would still continue to take drugs, there were boys to who the message got across to and they stated that they knew drugs were dangerous and they would not touch them. In such an environment as Bonnytoun where there are so many boys with so many issues, it will never be possible to change the perspective of all of them, but just helping one to make better life decisions is a start.
Ruyterwacht Mock Trial
The mock trial which was so successful last year is now up and running again. Volunteers are currently just visiting the project and trying to drum up some more children to get involved and do some workshops to get the children interested before they start on the mock trial workshops.
This month volunteers were able to take the women for a day out on Valentines Day. They took them to Kirstenbosch Gardens and the women were able to enjoy some time away from their children and the shelter. Kirstenbosch Gardens was somewhere that the women had never been to before and volunteers provided a picnic for the ladies and a lot of discussions were had regarding the ladies past Valentines days and the women opened up quite a bit to the volunteers. This month has also seen the introduction of an extra workshop each week in which volunteers are teaching the women computer skills. This is something of great value to the ladies as being computer literate makes them much more employable.
Lavender Hill Legal Clinic
We are still continuing with our legal clinic in Lavender Hill. We have welcomed a number of new clients this month and continue to open cases for them and give them the advice and assistance that they need. This month volunteers have also held a couple of workshops with some of the community there regarding money management and debt. We were finding that with many of the cases that were coming to us people had many issues which had resulted from their poor money management and also their failure to keep track of their finances and keep a record of everything that they do. Volunteers gave them advice on budgeting and on what records and receipts they must keep so that they are protected. The workshops were well received and were a great initiative from the volunteers.
Manenberg Legal Clinic
This is a new clinic which we started up this month. Our Legal Services Coordinator Sanjay took volunteers to meet with clients in the Manenberg area and many new cases were opened. Some of the cases were extremely interesting with volunteers working hard back at the office on researching their client’s matters and following up on their issues. This clinic boosted the number of cases at the office and extended the work load of our volunteers; especially towards the end of the month as volunteer numbers started to dwindle.
Case file’s within the office
We are still maintaining a high number of clients who call in to the office daily. We have taken on some new walk in clients this month as well as continued to assist those who have had cases with us for a while now. There have been more and more visits to court also this month as we begin to represent more of our clients with their cases in court.