Projects Abroad Human Rights Office – Cape Town, South Africa – Monthly Reports
Monthly Reports from 2011
December is always a quiet month at PAHRO as many of our partner organisations are closed for Christmas and so projects are put on hold. Legal work is also slow as very few new clients come in over the Christmas and New Year period but also because follow ups on current cases are not possible due to the majority of companies and organisations that we need to get hold of shutting down for the Christmas holidays. Here are the updates on the few things that have been taking place this month.
November has been a busy month for PAHRO with a huge change around in staff after losing two of our staff members, Lyndon Metembo and Tiffani Wesley and gaining Shuan Solomons as the new Social Justice Coordinator. Volunteer numbers are starting to die down now as we approach Christmas with many volunteers leaving and heading home for the holidays or continuing with their travels. We still have a good number within the office though and a few whom will be staying right through Christmas and New Years with us. Here are some of November’s highlights.
This month has been busy for PAHO, especially with the arrival of our Global Gap Year volunteers. Our social justice projects are progressing well, with a new soccer project in the works. Our mock trial program is also making huge steps and having a profound impact on both the children we are working with and the volunteers. On the legal services side, we have had many interesting cases this month, including a Road Accident Fund case, a medical negligence case, and some very interesting asylum seeker cases. Here’s a summary of this month’s activities
This month has been very productive for PAHO with new ideas and new projects, adding to the already successful projects currently running. Volunteers have been planning new soccer tournaments, developing new relationships with other organisations, organising a jewellery sale for the women at St. Anne’s, and working hard on a variety of different legal cases. The office continues to evolve and grow as do the volunteers working in the office.
This month has been another busy one for PAHO with lots of new volunteers arriving and with that new ideas and dynamics are brought to the work we are doing. Some put all their energy and efforts into organising and pulling off a very successful soccer tournament in Manenberg, others made huge progress in terms of the work we do with the women’s shelters; not forgetting the request from Bonnytoun themselves for us to spend more time with the boys each week because of the great work our volunteers have been doing there. Here’s a round up of the progress being made in each of our projects.
Bonnytoun – This month Bonnytoun relocated to new premises. It is now much further away and volunteers must take time to travel there. The new premises are much more 'prison like' with the boys being placed in cells rather than dorms like the old building. They are now a lot further away from their families who are unable to visit as regularly because of the distance and many of the organisations that were also working with the boys have dropped out due to the distance.
Bonnytoun – This month started with volunteers delving into their creative side and producing their own raps to perform to the boys. The aim was to try and get the boys interested through music and get them to write their own raps/songs. Volunteers then decided to address an issue which was important to the boys – court proceedings. All of these boys have found themselves caught up in the justice system and so such a topic is of great relevance to them.
Police: Your Rights and Access to Justice
This month we had one workshop in this project. We visited Nima, a community which has expressed serious issues relating to local policing and violations of offender's rights. Our volunteers presented the UN's 10 Suspect Rights and a general statement on current police behaviour with reference to corruption and extortion.
Bonnytoun – This month volunteers have been getting to know the boys and learning what works with them and what they respond to. The first few workshops resulted in a fair amount of trial and error, sourcing out the boys' strengths and weaknesses.
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.
Bonnytoun – Drug addiction workshops were worked on with the boys this month. PAHRO has found there to be a crossover with the work we do at Bonnytoun and the work that Youth in Prison do there. Youth in Prison is another organisation working with Bonnytoun. They visit the boys 6 times a week, carrying out workshops similar to what PAHRO does but using creative arts.
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.