‘Kwanele’ as voices speak out against gender based violence

2015-08-06 06:00
The Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication (SCI) in partnership with Grassroot Soccer South Africa (GRS), and supported by Comic Relief, launched KWANELE! which is part of the Sexual Violence in schools in South Africa (SeVissa)

The Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication (SCI) in partnership with Grassroot Soccer South Africa (GRS), and supported by Comic Relief, launched KWANELE! which is part of the Sexual Violence in schools in South Africa (SeVissa)

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Two organisations have collaborated in one solid voice to find ways of decreasing the high level of gender-based violence and sexual violence in 20 Khayelitsha schools.

The Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication (SCI) in partnership with Grassroot Soccer South Africa (GRS), and Comic Relief, launched KWANELE! which is part of the Sexual Violence in schools in South Africa (SeVissa) initiative.

The initiative, which started last year, is aimed at ensuring a safe learning environment for girls in schools.

The launch was held at Football for Hope Centre, in Khayelitsha, on Friday.

Dr Sue Goldstein, from Soul City, said the pilot programme will last for five years and it seeks to find ways to curb bad behaviour.

“We have noticed a rise in gender based violence in the country recently. So we also want to include parents to help us find ways to decrease gender based violence.

We want an environment which is free from that. We are one of the countries that have high level of rape and gender based violence in the world.

Here the programme focuses on girls, but we also involve boys. We teach boys what it means to be a man. We want to see if the programme will give positive results,” Goldstein said.

Goldstein also said there are 115 schools that are part of Soul Buddies programmes in the country.

Matebogo Mampane, community engagement specialist at Soul City, said they have also formed partnership with National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to ensure the smooth prosecution of perpetrators.

“We aim to talk to victims of rape that it is not their fault for being raped and that we need to support each other in that case,” Mampane said.

The South African Government and the stakeholders are working to prevent gender-based violence and sexual violence through appropriate and innovative channels, including edutainment and sport.

KWANELE! empowers girls and strengthens the capacity of schools and communities at identifying and dealing with violence against girls.

Using a combination of mass media, social mobilisation and advocacy, the Soul City Institute aims to improve the quality of life and health of people in Southern Africa through strengthening individuals, communities and society based on active citizenship and principles of social justice. SCI’s edutainment programmes have influenced and shaped the lives of millions of children, adults and communities within South Africa and the continent.

As a leader in the Sport for Development field, Grassroot Soccer is an adolescent health organisation that educates, inspires and mobilises young people to overcome their greatest health challenges and live healthier, more productive lives. Through youth friendly sport-based activities, innovative programming based on sound research, and inspiring role models, GRS provides young people with health information and access to services, so they can make educated choices about HIV and AIDS, sexual health and gender-based violence.

Comic Relief is a major United Kingdom (UK) charity started in 1985, with the mission to drive positive change and tackle the root causes of poverty and social injustice through the power of entertainment.

Mbulelo Malotana, programme manager for Grassroot Soccer in the province, said their partnership with Soul City started last year and that he is optimistic it will bear fruits.

Malotana said they have a number of programmes such as skill programme, generation skills for boys and girls in high school, skills banyana for girls and other programmes that aim at the betterment of lives of learners.

“We want to see if the two programmes can work together to address the issues affecting the learners.

“We hope to see the good results. The HSRC (Human Science Research Council) is also part of the pilot project and they are trying to track the outcomes as to how the girls feel.

At the end of the research we will know how the girls feel about the programme, the feedback from teachers and from community at large,” Malotana said.

The programme will end in 2019

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