Over the last four days the Bulungula Incubator’s Tess Peacock has been running a Basic Human Rights and Paralegal Workshop. The Bulungula Lodge generously hosted us and we had 25 participants from nine different organisations all along the Wild Coast present!

The aim of the workshop was three-fold.  First, it aimed to introduce participants to the South African Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Secondly, by understanding the main principles of human rights, it aimed to equip participants to become active citizens who are able to undertake advocacy campaigns that address human rights issues that are important to them. Thirdly, it aimed to equip participants with the tools to deal with legal problems faced by their communities.

All along the Wild Coast, our areas faces a plethora of challenges to development and there is no silver bullet intervention to create more prosperity. Many of the organisations in the area work in clear focus areas, for example, health, education, sustainable livelihoods, social development or empowerment, and some have more integrated development plans. No matter the angle or the focus area, our Constitution includes rights that intersect with all these focus areas making access to health, education, social development and empowerment all legal issues. Thus, the use of law (which includes education about the law, advocacy and the courts) is a powerful tool to advance what all the organisations do in a radical and broad way.

This is why we decided to support, host and let our resident lawyer, Tess, facilitate this workshop.

Here is some of the feedback received from the participants:

  • “I enjoyed meeting different people from different areas and learning and sharing knowledge”
  • “I wish it was more than 4 days”
  • “I enjoyed the teamwork, exercises, discussions and sharing ideas”
  • “I feel more powerful than I did before the course”
  • “I enjoyed learning and being empowered”
  • “Everything was perfect and enjoyable”
  • “Ready to fight for our rights and to speak out”
  • “I know what steps I can take if my rights are violated”
  • “I enjoyed it very much, and the facilitator was on fire.”

Organisations represented: IKhaya Loxolo; Transcape; One-to-One Children’s Fund; Jabulani; Axium; the Bulungula Incubator; Mawotsheni Project;  Sustainable Coffee Bay and Friends of Cintsa.