Ensuring Access to Safe and Inclusive Schools in South Africa
The Centre for Justice & Crime Prevention
This month HDF is presenting the work of the Centre for Justice & Crime Prevention, a non-profit organisation that works with local partners to ensure access to safe and inclusive schools in townships with a high prevalence of violence outside of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
CJCP and its local partner Masifunde have been very busy lately. In addition to adding 6 new life-skills training groups, a choir, drama and visual arts programme, career workshops for older and out of school children and child protection workshops, CJCP have embraced child participation as a tool to allow children the opportunity to express their views, influence decision-making and achieve change in their communities.
In October of 2015, CJCP and its local partner Masifunde Learner Development conducted a Safety Mapping exercise with 31 youth, grades 10-12, from Walmer Township. Safety Mapping is a tool that captures input from children in order to gather information about perceived safety within a certain place or a whole community that the children experience in their everyday lives. It not only gives an overview about safe places in the area, but also encourages adults and children alike to think about safety and the causes of unsafety.
The youth participants were issued with printed maps of Walmer Township and equipped with digital cameras. They then went out into the community to interview residents and to capture images of places which they self-identified as either safe or unsafe in the community. The exercise produced a child-friendly safety map which was exhibited in the library for the community to give feedback. The map now forms part of a baseline for a project that aims to keep children at the forefront in making communities safety.
Name & Logo Competition for Launch of Umhlali Project
Masifunde, CJCP’s local partner, held a competition asking the youth of Walmer Township to design a logo for its Umhlali project. Umhlali is Zulu for ‘the citizen’ and is an early crime prevention initiative. Many interesting and thoughtful suggestions were handed in, making it hard to decide on the best one. Votes were casted and 15 year-old Nombulelo Shinga was selected as the winner. Nombulelo says of her design,
“My logo shows a child and an older person waking hand in hand together with an earth ball looking in the same direction. They are all working together towards a brighter future for everyone – even the small ones can make a difference. Making the world a better place starts at an early age.”
The Umhlali project was launched the beginning of this year with the first published edition of its newsletter being distributed to 2500 community members of Walmer Township. The project is an early crime prevention initiative that takes a holistic approach to building safer communities by cross-cutting the following inter-related issues:
- School Safety
- Family Support
- Early Childhood Development
- Institutional & Community Capacity
- Youth Pro-Social Decision Making
- School Leaver & Dropouts
- Alcohol & Substance Misuse
HDF supports CJCP and its local partners through a $2.1 million grant from 2015-2020. To learn more about the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention, please visit their website.