Stories from the Field

Making all Voices count in Keimoes

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mavc keimoes 2015 collageBlack Sash partner, Joyce Muller of Siyafunda, hosted a community dialogue at the local church hall in Keimoes (northern Cape) on 17 March 2015 sharing the results of the citizen monitoring of SASSA conducted in 2014. The SASSA Manager was in attendance as was the Public Protector. We expected 50 community members but to our surprise 136 people showed up.

Community members shared their feelings on the results presented and a Joint Monitoring Committee was formed consisting of 3 residents, Siyafunda and SASSA to develop an Action Plan to help improve service delivery.

Making all Voices Count -With Folweni

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 Making all Voices Count: Black Sash works with our community monitoring partners to prepare for the upcoming Dialogues between our partners and community stakeholders & government facilities.

In KZN, our Black Sash staff joined with our partner Folweni Community Resource Centre to review the results of the citizen monitoring process conducted in 2014, validate reports drawn from these monitoring processes, identify key successes and challenges, and then finally planning for a way forward (how would issues be solved, by whom, and by when).

Mama Magubane, the Deputy chair of the clinic committee attended and promised to take forward questions and concerns during the clinic committee meeting.


Making all Voices Count -With Philakithi

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philakithi 3 march 2015 - Copy


In our Making all Voices Count Project, Black Sash continues to prepare with our community monitoring partners for the upcoming Dialogues between our partners, community stakeholders and government facilities.

In KZN, our Black Sash staff joined with our partner Philakithi to review the results of the monitoring process conducted in 2014, in order to prioritise problems that came up, and to work out how these problems will be tackled. Part of this process was to validate reports drawn from the monitoring process, identify key successes and challenges, while planning for a way to move forward (how these issues would be solved, by whom, and by when).


MAVC Dialogues Workshop with ILDA EC

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 In February 2015, Black Sash Eastern Cape held a successful workshop with the Interchurch LDA in Uitenhage to prepare for the Making all Voices Count Dialogues to take place soon.

ec mavc ilda cycle 1 dialogue composite

Challenges were identified, and an improvement plan for SASSA Uitenhage was developed. A joint committee comprising of mainly women was set up. The committee was given Norms and Standards as well as copies of the Batho Pele principles in order to measure and assess progress made in the implementation of the activities in an Implementation Plan.


Meet our new interns February 2015

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BS Interns Feb 2015

We welcome 4 new interns into Black Sash this year! Left to Right - Hamda Mohamed (Sweden), Carmen Teubl (Austria), Gjyljeta Fifa (Sweden) and Ben Holston (USA).

Read what our interns have to say about themselves:

My name is Hamda and I am studying at the Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden. I will be doing my internship at the Black Sash until the mid-May 2015. I have always wanted to somehow engage in human rights issues but also understand the function of the political world. I am proud to be a part of the Black Sash organization with its vast experience and long history (60 years in 2015) is a perfect NGO for me to not only gain new experiences but also to grow as a person.

Hello! My name is Carmen and I am from Austria. I studied International Development and African Studies and I am currently working for a non-profit organisation in the area of intercultural dialogue as well as in the educational field. Here, at Black Sash I want to get new experiences and link both my work here with my work back home. I am looking forward to be part of it and widening my horizon.

My name is Gjyljeta and I'm studying Peace and Development at the University of Linnaeus in Växjö, Sweden. For my last semester I decided to do an internship before graduating and Black Sash sounded the most interesting since Human Rights is one of my passions. By being here I look forward to learn as much as possible an get experiences from the work Black Sash carries out. Sports, travel and learning languages are some of my interests and I have for a long period of time trained at Basketball. Peace and Love, Gjyljeta :)

I am Ben Holston, currently a Senior at Stanford University in the United States, where I plan to graduate with a degree in Political Science in June. Originally from Denver, Colorado, USA, I am working at Black Sash while on a study abroad program through Stanford. I previously worked as an intern in the United States Senate and for the Governor of Colorado. At school, I serve on the Undergraduate Senate, which I Chaired for a year and a half before coming to Cape Town in January. I am also a member of the Stanford Improvisors theatre troupe and competed for the Varsity Men's Swim Team during my first two years of college, including swimming in the United States Olympic Team Trials in 2012. I am thrilled to be in Cape Town and working for Black Sash!