The overall goal of the Projects and Training component of POWA’s work is to build capacity – internally and externally. Aim is to strengthen Violence against Women’s and Girls sector interventions that are women-centred and rights-based, ensuring our planned interventions respond to the intersections between Violence against Women, HIV and Poverty.
Working closely with all programmes and services of POWA, the department’s strategy centres on building individual, organisational and community capacity to respond to and prevent Violence against Women & Girls. Activities focuses on improving services for women and girls survivors as well as activities which aim at women’s leadership and transformation. POWA’s training and learning programs ranges from one and 5 day workshops through to year-long multi-modal strengthening capacity programmes.
Objectives of the Department are as follows:
-To build capacity internally as well as externally using a Feminist analysis to strengthen interventions on Violence against Women and Girls
-To create visibility in the sector in collaboration and partnership with other agencies
The following mechanisms are used to deliver key programme messages:
Community dialogue is used in order to create a safe space for women and men to speak out about challenges they face collectively about harmful cultural practices. In order to understand harmful cultural practices and other contributing factors, POWA formed a foundation by defining violence against women.
The workshops are mainly conducted in provinces where POWA does not have a physical structure (presence) and participants are community care givers, activists, community mobilises, trainers and women representative from the communities.
Women are trained on gender and socialisation, abuse and all its forms, sexual violence, reporting processes, roles of different stakeholders in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) including procedure to follow when applying for a protection order and other court processes.
The Raising Her Voice (RHV) Project
Raising Her Voice is a project funded by Oxfam which started five years ago. The goal of the project is to promote rights and capacities of ordinary women to engage effectively in local governance structures by holding them to account using national legislation and international human rights instruments. This is achieved through establishment of community action groups formed by women in their communities in partnerships with Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) whose primary beneficiaries are women.
RHV used production of radio drama documentaries to educate women and girls on the on cross cutting issues of violence against women and its link to HIV and AIDS and poverty. Working in collaboration with radio stations, radio documentaries were produced based on personal stories of survivors of violence against women or the experience of engaging with the local IDP process. Guided by POWA, this process is empowering to both the local women who were interviewed for the documentary and the radio station itself.
Women’s Writing Project
About the Writing Project
Built on feminist principles, the project encourages women, through writing, to rid themselves of the shackles of silence, which often are the means through which the violence is perpetuated.
In 2005, a need was identified to create a collective space through which women could share their stories of surviving gender based violence. POWA proceeded to set up the Writing Competition (now Project) by inviting women throughout the country to send short stories, poems and personal stories about their journey of survival.
In 2008, POWA reviewed the project’s structure and after much consideration, decided to change it from competition to project, thereby creating a safe space for as many women voices as possible.
One of the ways in which POWA empowers aspiring writers is by developing and improving writing skills. To this end, women are assisted to create a world which is safe in their country, communities, bodies, homes and minds through writing.
Since its inception, the project has produced the following Anthologies under the Breaking the Silence series:
2005 – Dreaming of Living
2006 – Positive Survivors
2007 – Murmurs of the Girl in Me
2008 – Journeys to Recovery
2009 – Stories from the Other(ed) Woman
2010 – Love & Revolution
2011 – Sisterhood
2013 – Breaking the Silence: Special Edition
2015 – Perfectly Imperfect
2016 – New Dawn
NEW CALL: Painting My Future
Ending Sexual Violence in Schools
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund contracted the Gauteng Coalition to implement a project entitled SeVISSA (Sexual violence against Girls in Schools in South Africa) in Diepsloot. The Gauteng Coalition members implementing the SeVISSA project are: Afrika Tikkun (lead organisation), Childline Gauteng; People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA); Education with Enterprise Trust (EWET) and Southern Africa Youth Project (SayPro).
The agreed outcomes of SeVISSA are as follows:
- Outcome 1: Improved access to quality educational support programmes for girls and boys in and out of school
- Outcome 2: Increased numbers of women and girls leading local initiatives for social change in schools and within communities
- Outcome 3: Decreased acceptance and prevalence of violence against women and girls in schools and the targeted communities
- Outcome 4: Improved psychosocial well-being and access to statutory and protective services among women and girls who are at risk and who have experienced violence
POWA’s contribution is implementing The National Schools Safety Framework which is aimed at assisting schools in understanding all security issues and threats thereafter respond accordingly.
The second pillar of SeVISSA is focusing on women in communities. 1st for Women Insurance company has made funds available to conduct dialogues, radio listening groups as well as door to door campaigns in Diepsloot. To date, fifty women have been trained on Violence against Women and Law. These women in turn conduct community door to door campaign informing households about abuse causes and effects of violence.
Baba Buya Project
National Prosecuting Authority, People Opposing Women Abuse, Sonke Gender Justice and South African Police are piloted Baba Buya in 2014, a project aimed at reducing Violence against Women by working with boys from single female and child headed households parents and promoting community fatherhood. The project is based on the premise that reducing and ending violence against women requires programmes that work with the community as a whole. Therefore the pilot aims to upscale existing interventions working with men and boys to reduce and ultimately end violence against women. The project is funded by Vital Voices for 12 months.
The training aimed at creating awareness on the violence against women and girls by high-lighting the impact of unequal socialisation of girls and boys. The outcome of the training was community action plans that were developed by different groups in order to work women and girls in communities to address issues of violence against women.
In 2016 POWA has secured funding to provide training for the female caregivers of the boys who participated in the Baba Buya Project in 2014 so that they can journey together with the boys and the community fathers who participated in the project in 2014. The training for the female care givers will be undertaken in 2016 with funding from AVON.