Monthly Report – February and March 2016


Projects Abroad Human Rights Office, Cape Town

February and March came with a rapid increase in clients at most of the legal clinics with Philisa Abafazi leading bringing in 28 clients on one Tuesday. This is great news for PAHRO as we rely on 'word of mouth' to advertise our services, the more successful we are with our current clients the more they are likely to refer family, friends and colleagues to us. Sadly, towards the end of February and early March we bid farewell to a number of volunteers most of whom are Australian. We are grateful for their assistance and wish them all of the very best for the future.

Social Justice Project Updates

Siyakhathala

Two of our former volunteers, Tess Fernan and Daan Visseren who worked closely with Shuan started a fund raiser in order to provide school uniforms and stationary for impoverished young boys and girls in Khayelitsha many of whom were unable to attend school for lack of uniforms. As a result of their efforts, we have purchased and delivered approximately forty eight school uniforms and stationary kits to various schools and children in the Khayelitsha Township.

We sincerely thank Tess and Daan for their hard work, effort, time and donations. They have made a huge impact on the lives of these forty eight students.

Case 1

As discussed in January's report, we are assisting a mother whose son has been diagnosed as a slow learner to have her child registered at a school that adequately caters to his needs. Volunteers have managed to speak to the relevant authorities at the Department of Social Development as well as even secure an appointment with an occupational therapist, whose report is mandatory for the son getting admitted to such a school.

We followed up with the occupational therapist to ensure that the appointment is still on record. During the course of the consultation it was brought to our attention that the child can only be assisted while already registered in a school. This is a problem as the child's mother, opted not to register her son for school this year due to his learning disability. The occupational therapist indicated she would have to discuss the son's latest performance in school as part of her report and the child's teachers would have to give their latest assessment. It is only students who are already in the school system who can be assisted.

We are currently assisting the mother with having her son, re registered before the appointment date so that we can ensure he does not miss out on an opportunity to study at an appropriate school.

In March month we have not received any new cases through Siyakhathala and thus have followed up on our current cases. We attended the homes of some of our clients, whom have informed us that they no longer require assistance as their issues have been resolved through our assistance.

In the last two months we have assisted numerous clients with issues such as applying for identity documentation or grant applications, which the clients have been successful in applying for. The clients are now waiting on feedback from the Department of Home Affairs regarding their applications, which we are hopeful will be received in the next few weeks.

We have therefore closed a number of Siyakhathala cases, as well as assisted the Siyakhathala office with their administration, such as sorting out their files and drafting file notes.

Vredelus / Bonnytoun / Lindelani

Self-control

The purpose of this workshop is to get the youth thinking how about their actions and the consequences of their action. We hoped to help them realise that some of our actions are a reactions, made in a split second decision and often having negative results that affect us for the rest of our lives.

As self-control is learning about controlling ones emotions, it was important for the youth to be able to find new ways in which to express themselves positively. In this workshop we introduced them to slam poetry, which is a unique way of expressing feelings through telling their stories orally. They seemed to enjoy this a lot and were eager to share their poems with us. This also seemed more of a fun and "lighter" way for them to express their emotions, without feeling self conscious.

We also enlisted role playing, where we described scenarios and asked the youth to practice how they ought to respond in the different scenarios. This was to teach hem that they would have to practice self control and with time they would get better and better at it, but they have to be committed to trying. They may not be perfect at it, but it will help them realise a better version of themselves.

We then discussed the positive result of practising self control by showing the correlation between self control and success in life be it financial success, happiness, a sense of peace and calm or achieving goals.

"This was really a great session. We all learned a lot about self-control and how to express ourselves through slam poetry. The feedback we received was amazing and everyone was excited to share their poetry with us."- Ronojoy Raychaudhuri

Goal Setting

"The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score" - Bill Copeland

Understanding the importance of goal setting and knowing how to set goals for yourself is crucial to accomplishing great things in your life. Now unfortunately a lot of people set goals, yet they aren't specific to the type of goals set, for example, long term or short term, and also do not take the time out to think about how they will accomplish these goals.

In this session we explained what goals are, the difference between goals, wants and needs, as well as the importance of ensuring that motivation, habit and determination were their key elements in achieving their goals. We also gave examples of short term and long term goals and then gave examples of steps to take in order to achieve the goals.

The activities we had included sheets where the boys and girls had to fill in their needs, wants and goals, as well as identify their strengths and weaknesses. Thereafter they had to list down the steps they would take to achieve their goals, as well as include what changes in their attitude and lives they would have to make in order to achieve it.

Most of the boys and girls had similar goals, such as "complete my education", "stay drug free", "find a good job and take care of my family", "be role models for my children and peers" and "travel abroad".

Everyone was also given the opportunity to verbally express what goals they want to achieve and mention the steps they would take to achieve it. This gave them the opportunity to not only visualize their goals, but for it to become a realistic possibility of achieving.

"We all set goals, but not all of us take the steps to achieve it, so doing this session, just reminded us about how badly we want to achieve our goals, it also made us excited to achieve it." – Delphine D'Hondt

Teenage Pregnancy

This week we decided to educate both the males and females on teenage pregnancy as teenage pregnancy is an epidemic which is rife amongst the youth.

Most of the inmates at the facilities are also young parents, and this is due to not being educated about the consequences of sex and thus being left to their own devices of experimenting.

The purpose of this specific workshop was to raise awareness of the consequences of sex, being young parents and the options available to the youth when they become pregnant.

Prior to starting our slide show presentation we did a quiz, asking the boys and girls questions about teenage pregnancy and STD's. This was done in order to test their knowledge on the topic. Surprisingly the boys and girls had a lot of questions, which were about to be answered in the slide show presentation.

In the slide show presentation we explained the emotions involved in sex, the consequences of unprotected sex, the different STD's, contraceptives available and where to get them, as well as the different options available when pregnant, such as adoption or parenting classes, as well as the different government support systems available to assist.

We thereafter broke into smaller groups and discussed different scenarios, which led to the boys and girls sharing their personal experiences on being young parents and advising us that they have learned a lot of information which they wished they would have known prior to sexually experimenting.

"Everyone was interested in the topic on hand and were open to sharing their personal experiences with us. The inmates also expressed that they wished to have learned about sex before experimenting."- Delphine D' Hond t

Children's Rights

It is highly relevant for children to know their basic human rights, especially the rights institutionalized specifically for children.

More often than not, children's rights are being violated, especially at the hands of their loved ones. In order for children to live out their full potential and feel safe, they need to learn about their rights and how to ensure these rights are enforced in their lives.

For this specific workshop we knew that this would be an interesting and educational learning experience for the youth, however it would be most difficult to ensure it captivates their attention. We therefore decided to keep the slide show presentation short and simple and to use flash cards, worksheets and to have interactive discussions.

We discussed the rights children has in South Africa, as well as how ninety percent of these rights are the same all over the world and examples of how these rights are violated and can be enforced. We thereafter asked various discussion based questions such as "Which five rights do you think are most important to you?" and "If you knew these rights before being incarcerated, what would you have done differently?" and "how will you use these rights to benefit your future?".

The workshop exceeded our expectations and the more information we presented to the boys and girls the more questions they asked.

"The boys and girls were listening attentively and have asked that we do this workshop as a refresher again soon". – Julius Kivel

Creative Writing

In the past we have done workshops on creative writing and it has proven to be a life changing and memorable experience for both the volunteers and the inmates.

From what we have noticed during the course of this year's workshop as well as in the past is that the boys and girls yearn to share, self-reflect and understand themselves and one another. However they have not been given the platform to do so.

With creative writing, we focus more on the individual and their story/stories.

We started off this session by explaining to the boys and girls what creative writing is and the benefits thereof, the most important aspect of this session was, that there are no set rules for writing and that they can write whatever they want, as long as they are being honest towards themselves.

We handed each individual different fill-in-the-blank poetry sheets and asked them to fill in the blanks relating to their lives. We also asked them to write down their own life poem, song or story and thereafter they had the opportunity to share it with the group or keep it to reflect upon in the future.

This session forced the boys and girls to use their imagination and dig deep into their emotions in order to self-reflect and assess their lives. They were also able to relate their experience to their peers, which helps them understand each other better.

"This was a great session. Both the girls and boys were focused and engaged in the creative writing tasks. This particular session taught both the volunteers and inmates the importance of self-reflecting and how becoming aware of one's emotions helps us understand others better."- Jodi Painter

St Anne's

Human Rights

"One cannot exist in the world without knowing ones basic human rights, these rights are to protect one from all things unjust and unlawful"- Author unknown

In South Africa, the month of March is recognised as Human Rights month. This is because human rights day is celebrated on the 21st of March. The 21st of March is the day on which the Sharpeville massacre of 1960 occurred, where about 7000 unarmed Africans who were protesting against pass laws and had presented themselves for arrest for refusing to carry passes were brutally murdered by Apartheid police.

The theme for our workshop was human rights. The interns did research on the UN Declaration of Human Rights as wells as the South African Bill of Rights. We stared off the workshop by asking the women "what rights do you know?" the most common answers were "the right to education", "the right to housing", "the right to be free" and "the right to equality".

We then proceeded go through all twenty seven of the rights enshrined in the South African Bill of Rights in detail, as well as highlighting the basic human rights which are imperative for all individuals to know.

Thereafter two short educational videos followed; the first video was about the similarities the South African Bill of Rights and the UN Declaration of Human Rights has. The second was a video by "Kid President", entitled "how to change the world".

We also had an activity called "create your own planet", in this activity the women were split into groups of three, they were then given a sheet of paper and had to name their planet, as well as list the ten rights they felt were the most important to sustain their planet. Each group then had to present their planet and their rights, as well as give reasons for the rights chosen.

After the activities we had discussion questions, such as "which rights do you feel have been violated?", "what does the Bill of Rights mean?", "what should you do if you feel your rights are violated?" and "do homosexuals and foreigners have the same rights as you?". All these questions led to long discussions and were also designed in order to view the women's personal opinions on matters such as LGBT rights and Xenophobia, which is also part of future workshops that we will be doing.

At the end of the workshop we presented all the women with a leaflet with the summary of their human rights on it, so that they can keep it for future reference as well as to educate their peers.

"From the feedback we received, the workshop was successful and the women were grateful to be learning about their rights. The activities and discussion, gave the women a better understanding on what they can do to better themselves and their lives and also for them to use the knowledge gained to educate their children and ensure their rights are not violated."- Heidi S.Lindstad

Valentine's Day / Celebration of Love

The ladies at the shelter had mentioned their curiosity about Valentine's Day at a previous session, wanting to know the origins, why people celebrate it and also who our valentines would be this year!

We discussed the concept of Valentine's Day, the myths and facts, as well as the different celebratory rituals from the interns' countries and South Africa's.

We then shared experiences on Love, as well as what Valentine's Day means to us and how we celebrate it. We all also created cards for the people we love, whether it was our spouses, sister, brother, children or friend.

We did an activity called "10 reasons to love me", which involved self reflection on what makes us special. We hoped this would be a means to guide the women to realise their self-worth and that self-love is important in order to exude love.

We also decorated cupcakes, which seemed to be the most fun part of the workshop as the ladies got very creative and designed some beautifully coloured cupcakes.

From this workshop we could once again see the women enjoy getting creative and make use of any opportunity where they can explore different textures, designs and colours.

"This workshop was very interesting and valuable and because the women and interns are all from different cultures and religions our opinions on love vary, which was great, because we all got to learn a lot from each other." – Tuuli Varsa

Self-reflection

In order to recognise the progress we have made in life, it is important to self-reflect whilst simultaneously allowing our self to consider improvements that we could make in our life.

We learn by experiences and mistakes, however unless we question our self about what our experiences mean and think, we won't make any changes, thus self-reflection enable us to move from just experiencing, into understanding.

This particular workshop was divided into three segments:

  • Emotions
    Before commencing with the topic self-reflection or the session, we scattered various images onto the table, images or famous art work, such as Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Edward Hopper’s “Automat”. Each woman were also given an envelope filled with pieces of paper with different emotions written on them. The women then had to move around the table and place an emotion, which is evoked by looking at the painting on top of it. Thereafter the women had to give reasons for the type of emotion evoked.
  • Self-Reflection
    Research was done on the above topic, which was compiled into a slide show presentation. We started off by explaining what self-reflection is, why it is important, steps to take in order to self-reflect(asking yourself a variety of questions, such as “am I living according to my values and personal mission?”, “am I where I have envisioned myself to be?” and “what legacy do I want to leave behind?”). We also explained can be done after one has self-reflected and what mindfulness is and the impact mindfulness have on one’s mental and spiritual growth.
  • Journaling
    Journaling is a great way to self-reflect and serves as a permanent record of our progress.
    We discussed how to start journaling and in detail explained the benefits of journaling.

We had a handful of activities, which all enabled the ladies to self-reflect about their past, present and think about what they wanted for their future. The activities were also designed in such a way where the women were able to realise what their strengths, weaknesses, skills and achievements were.

"This was another great workshop. We all got to dig into our emotion and think about how far we have come, what our experiences have led us to, how we have grown mentally and also made us think about an enriching future. The activities given to the women were completed and they were open and eager to share their experiences with us and especially their excitement about the future" - Stephanie Goudriaan

Emotions

In last week's session on self-reflection, we talked about emotions briefly and since self-reflection ties into expressing your emotions, we thought it would be fitting to structure a workshop on emotions.

Many, if not majority of us often have unexplainable feelings, especially feelings where we are unable to put a name to the type of emotion we feel.

We explained the term emotion itself, gave examples of different types of emotions, explained how emotions control your thinking, behaviour and actions and how negative and positive emotions affect your physical health.

After the presentation, we gave the women a variety of sheets to complete, such as, "match the name of the emotion to the correct explanation", "emotions and humour" and a "life satisfaction checklist". All these activities were done so that the women could think about their lives and feelings, as well as learn about new emotions.

We also talked about the various ways to express your emotions, such as journaling, poetry, singing, dancing and using your talents and skills to reflect how you feel.

The aim of the workshop was so that the women could understand, identify and release their feelings, as well as be able to put a name to the emotion they are feeling.

"This was a very engaging workshop. The women stated that they sometimes could not understand what they were feeling and did not know how to express it, but now through this workshop they are finally able to label their feelings and have new ways of expressing themselves. During this session we all learned a host of new words and got to know each other well."- Marie Winzap

Communication

Effective communication is one of the most important life skills one can have and developing these communication skills can help in all aspects of one's life.

In today's society a lot of people lack communication skills, as people often listen with the intent to reply and do not pay attention to subliminal messages, ie, through body language.

With the women at the shelter, we have noticed that a lot of them have issues with communicating effectively, this also due to the language barrier and the fact that most people have conformed to the norm of communicating in slang language.

With this specific workshop, we educated the women on the different forms of communication: verbal and non-verbal, explaining the different components thereof.

We also had various writing activities, where the women had to reshuffle sentences in order to correct grammar, add punctuation marks, as well as formulate statements and questions.

We practised our reading skills and did a few role playing activities in order to illustrate physical communication both in our personal and professional lives.

After the activities we had various discussions about how effective communication could be used to solve current communication issues with family and friends. A lot of the women are currently facing issues with their family and friends and thus has stated that they now know how to communicate better and would use what they have learned to repair their relationships.

"The topic connects with previous topics, such as self-reflection and emotions in which communication is important. The ladies were very interested in the different forms of communication, especially learning about "it's not what you say, but how you say it". The ladies have informed us that they will be mindful to ensure their verbal communication is on par with their non-verbal communication." Delphine D'Hondt

Equal Love, Equal Rights

In a previous workshop with the women we discussed discrimination and stumbled upon the topic of people being discriminated due to their sexual preference and by the interracial relationships.

We therefore decided to have a workshop educating the ladies on LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) and interracial relationships.

The theme for the workshop was called "Equal Love, Equal Rights", because people should be treated equally regardless of their race or sexual preference, as well as be loved equally.

We started off by playing a video called "It Could Happen To You "by Shane Bitney Cone, which was about him and his deceased partner's life story and how he started the Equal Love, Equal Rights campaign.

We also had a short power point presentation about being bias, how it affects people, what stereotyping is, discrimination based on gender, sexual preference, skin colour and asking people offensive questions, such as "what race are you?", "which country are you really from?" and "why are you in this country?".

We also showed a very beautiful, yet inspiring video called "Love has no labels", which is about people standing behind an x-ray wall, so that you can only see skeleton figures kissing and hugging each other. Near the end of the video, the people appear from the x-ray wall, and it's interracial couples, gays, lesbians, disabled, old, young and people from different religions being partners. This video was to show that people may look and sound differently, but that we can't help but love who we do.

We then split up into groups of three's to discuss "what you would do if your son or daughter was gay" or "what would you do if your children would date outside their race or religion?". The discussions forced the women to be open about the possibilities of their children being different and we were surprised that the women agreed that is important to accept your child's choices and to love and support them no matter what.

"From the discussions we were able to receive feedback from the ladies, which was very positive and defined our purpose of educating them on being open minded and accepting people for who they are, rather than the colour of their skin and the sexual preferences. The ladies were also able to learn that we cannot control who we fall in love with and that love is a beautiful thing, shared between people who are committed to one another." - Heidi Skar Lindstad

Legal Services

Maria Mulindi

Brigette Rheinberger - Property Matter

Maria and I met with our client at the Mitchells Plain legal clinic, who came to us for assistance with a property matter.

The client states he bought his mother's house approximately nineteen years ago and the deeds title was transferred on to his name. The client now believes that the title to the property was transferred onto his sister's name by an attorney his sister used, by making use of a fraudulent will. He states the will is fraudulent, because the signature on the will do not belong to his mother. The client now believes his sister wants to sell the property and that she has started advertising it.

The client wants assistance from us in disputing the will, as well as obtaining an interdict from the court to prevent his sister from selling the property and for us to check if the property is still on his name or not.

Sherwin Daniels

Briana Collins – Criminal Matter

The case I am working on is about a client who was arrested for house breaking. The client is part of a gang and robbed a house. The charge against him is aggravated robbery. The victim was also assaulted with a gun, however it has now been claimed it was a toy gun. Our client's version is that they did not have a gun present.

A plea bargain of seven years was given to the client, but if he is charged and found guilty he will be given a sentence of fifteen years. The client requested for the plea bargain to be accepted.

The clients version of events keep changing and therefore the decision was made with withdraw as the client's attorney.

Rani – Labour Matter

The client came to us for assistance with two issues, however for the same company he used to work for:

  • The client sustained injuries to his hip and upper legs, due to an injury on duty. The client has asked his previous employer for compensation; however they have refused to compensate him. A week before Christmas the client was fired, apparently because the client kept asking for compensation.
  • Assistance in obtaining unemployment benefits (UIF). As the client was fired, he is entitled to UIF and therefore the client would like assistance in starting the claim proceedings.

We have contacted the client's previous place of employment, which have stated the reason for dismissal was due to the client not showing up for a disciplinary action hearing and therefore in his absence his employment was terminated. Furthermore, the employer stated that the client only reported his injury three weeks after it happened and therefore a workmen's compensation claim was never filed.

As the client's version and the employer's version of the dismissal vary, we have advised the client that the best thing to do was to rather apply for a disability grant or continue with proceedings for UIF.

In order to proceed further with the client's cases, we have advised the client that we need certain

documentation, such as medical records, incident report, contract of employment and pay slips.

Up to date we are still awaiting feedback from the client.

Brian Collins – Property Matter

The client came to us for assistance with her property matter relating to her being in debt with her water bills. According to the client her debt arrears amounted to R50 000.00, inclusive of interest and that she was making an effort to pay off the arrears; however the amount was rising exponentially. As a result of the arrears, the client's water supply has been cut off.

The client wants us to assist her in finding out why this amount was so high as well as for her water to be switched back on as she has young children whom are suffering due to this situation.

On the 17th of March I attended the Cape Town Water and Sanitation Department with the client in order to try and arrange a payment plan that would benefit both parties. We were advised in order for a payment plan to be arranged the client would need to pay a large upfront payment, which includes legal fees and a large percentage of her arrears. We thus explained that the client's salary does not cover her monthly expenses and as a result she is over indebted. Fortunately for the client we had documentation to prove she was over indebted and therefore we were then able to make an arrangement for her to pay an affordable monthly fee.

The agreement also stated that should the client stick to the arrangement the interest would stop rising. In addition, the client's normal water supply has been switched on with immediate effect.

Miriam MacDonald

Stephanie Goudriaan – Divorce Matter

Our client came to us for assistance regarding obtaining a divorce from her husband. The client and her husband have been married for eleven years; however they have been separated for ten years. The client now wants a divorce; however the client is worried that her husband will claim for half of her property which she had owned since before they got married.

We are currently waiting on the client to provide us with all the documentation, such as the marriage certificate, deeds of property, as well is for further information on how she would like to proceed with the divorce.

Sam – Debt Collection Matter

We had a client attend the Vrygrond legal clinic for a debt collection matter. The client purchased a laptop, DSTV and TV from a furniture store by the name of Joshua Door. The client unfortunately no longer works regularly, and therefore has been unable to make regular payments. The goods the client bought is worth R4500.00, which the client states he will continue to pay off, however he is not able to pay the initial monthly fee. The client has now also been harassed by debt collectors, who have threatened to visit his house and confiscate the goods without him being present. We are now trying to contact Joshua Door, in order to re-negotiate a payment plan."

Moot Report

Every now and again volunteers moot on a case that is currently on going at PAHRO and has been set down for trial. The purpose of this is for us to play devil's advocate to our own case by building a case for the prosecution in the light of the case we have for the defence. This enables us to be suitably prepared for trial. Our first moot of the year was scheduled for Friday 12th of February 2016.The teams for the prosecution and defence constituted four human rights interns on each side.

Summary of the case in question

Our client is 17 year old male who was charged with murder along with four other accused. The accused and his cohort are allegedly members of a gang and they have been charged with the murder of a young male who is a member of a rival gang.

According to our client he and his friends were returning from a soccer match with friends they spotted two buys from the Vato gang, a( an opposing gang) and they began to chase these boys. According to our client, his friends gave chase while he stayed a few steps behind them not wanting to get involved in anything that may ensue once they caught-up with the Vato gang members they were chasing. One of the two boys managed to escaped while the other tripped and fell thus the client and his friends caught up with him. According to witness statements the client and his friends stabbed the Vato gang member with knives and machetes and one of them took an axe to the deceased, hitting him three times on the head. The deceased succumbed to his injuries. Our client denies having been at the actual scene of the incident as he stayed way behind his friends when they gave chase and denies any involvement in the stabbing and killing of the deceased. Several witness accounts put into dispute, which weapons were used and who was actually involved in the murder of the deceased.

Our client pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder. To be found guilty he has to be found to have intentionally and unlawfully killed another human being the standard of proof being beyond reasonable doubt.

Prosecution

Team members: Briana Collins, Michele Prestia, Samuel Roberts and Beth Hosking

Summary of argument:

The prosecution argued that due to circumstantial evidence it could be inferred that the client was in possession of a weapon and used that weapon to stab the deceased. This was because of several witness statements that outline their version of events to include the client and his participation in the murder. The second argument raised was that the common purpose law principle should be applied to the client because the elements of mens rea and active association were satisfied. Furthermore, arguments raised dismissed the defence of disassociation and consequently the client would not be excused by his actions.

Defence

Team members: Chloe Fragos, Brigitte Rheinberger, Christina Welch and Ronojoy Raychaudhuri

Summary of the argument:

The defence argued that due to the inconsistencies of the witness statements it could not be found that the client is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. These inconsistencies included the weapon our client was alleged to be in possession of (which was not kept consistent), who saw the client in possession of said weapon and how the client used said weapon. The second argument raised was in rebuttal to the prosecutions use of the common purpose principle. It was argued that many cases raise the legitimacy of the common purpose principle and are highly critical of it. It was also raised that mens rea and active association must be satisfied and due to our clients statement he satisfied neither of those elements. Also the case study raised was of S v Mgedezi, where on appeal it was concluded that the court can apply the common purpose principle, however, the court must analyse the individual facts of each accused and then conclude their judgement. Thus, to apply this approach to the client and his witness statement would not construct the verdict of guilty. Lastly, the constitutional validity of the common purpose principle was questioned.

Outcome

Despite inconsistent witness testimonies the accused (our client) was found guilty for the charge of murder by three quarters of the judging audience. Reasons for the verdict differed, however there appeared to be a general consensus that they did not believe the client was not associated with the crime and did not participate while his friends who are is co-accused attacked the deceased. The issue of intent was a major cog in the decision made as the accused should have foreseen that giving chase with weapons in hand would have eventually led to the outcome of a murder according to the principle of dolus eventualis.

The Defence failed to provide enough reasonable doubt for an acquittal.

Volunteer experience

"As a fourth year law student I still hadn't worked up the courage to participate in a moot trial. This experience has given me the confidence to attempt a moot trial back home and apply the skills I have developed while on the Project to my tertiary education. The experience has also strengthened my group working skills, research skills and time management. In addition it was a great opportunity to be able to apply my new gained knowledge of South African criminal law in a practical and challenging way. The feedback received was also highly constructive and helped me refine my debating skills for future moots." – Chloe Fragos

"The challenge that the moot presented was one of the best experience of my time in the Project because it was extremely satisfying to be able to debate a real case with real implications". – Briana Collins

Conclusion

With the increase in clients and reduction in volunteers, the PAHRO staff have been quite stretched to meet the needs of the communities we serve. However we take it all in stride and find joy in doing the work we do. We look forward to welcoming more volunteers this April celebrating Freedom day with them and equipping them to be conscientious professionals as result of their work experience with us.


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