Projects Abroad Human Rights Office – Cape Town, South Africa – Monthly Reports
Monthly Reports from 2014
In the month of December we moved into our new offices in Wynberg. Despite having the challenge of moving offices and it being the Festive Season, we still received new and old clients. We also celebrated the end of a successful year with by having a braai (BBQ).
During the month of November we continue to provide workshops in local communities to educate people about their rights. The topics that we focused on this month were, namely: feminism, HIV/AIDS, team building and substance abuse.
During the month of October we opened our doors to clients as we were closed the previous month; the amount of volunteers increased to 26. Volunteers took part in workshops surrounding the issues of relationship and statutory rape, social networking, fire safety and role models to name a few.
The busy period came to a close at the end of August 2014, where we had over eighty interns come and go. Phew, we were very busy! The end of the busy period also meant a drastic reduction in volunteers, meaning case load has doubled for volunteers and quadrupled for staff and because of this we did not receive any walk-in clients at our offices for the month of September, but we maintained the legal clinics at Philsa Abafazi and Polsmoor Prison.
The month of August brought charm and cheer specifically to women as this has come to be recognised as Women’s month across South Africa. This month rose to significance as a result of Women’s Day which falls on the 9th of August.
The month of July kicked off with an influx of volunteers to the Human Rights office. This year we have hosted about 50 volunteers and interns, not including the 2 week special volunteers. The office has been abuzz with the sound of different accents from all over Europe, Australia and America. There has been a sense of excitement and competition.
Oliver Tambo said, “A society that does not invest in its youth does not deserve its future”. At the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office we try and invest in the youth we work with to secure the future of the greater community. On the 16th of June, South Africa celebrates the Youth Day.
Many of the youth in South Africa are ill informed about the changes they experience physically, mentally emotionally as part of growing up. A lot of youth go through this phase hearing from one another; unfortunately the person they speak to is often as misinformed as they are. We have noted that, because such topics are not openly discussed, teenagers make decisions based on misrepresentation of fact or lack thereof suffer terrible consequences.
We have had many public holidays this April, however that has still not slowed down clients coming to our office. We have opened over 36 new cases, many of which are refugee related issues.
March has continued to be a busy month for PAHRO. We persist in receiving many new clients, of which the majority are refugee related cases. The UCT Refugee Office was closed until mid-March, which contributed towards our influx of clients. Volunteers and interns have had many opportunities to attend court with Sherwin Daniels, working on cases for our Child Justice project.
The first workshop we did was on the different countries our interns are from. The countries were Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Tunisia, Canada, Austria, Australia, America and Denmark. The interns had prepare a presentation for the boys on what their country is famous for, the landmarks, language/s, famous actors/musicians, religions and different food that they have. The boys at Bonnytoun asked lots of questions and requested to learn more about the different countries.
Our office re-opened on the 06th January 2014. Many of our project partners opened late in January, therefore we were only able to hold a few life orientation classes, as well as attend our legal clinic in Lavender Hill. We have however had an influx of refugee clients.