Within the last couple of weeks, the media has been inundated with cases of abuse of South African women and children. Africa Unite condemns these many ongoing instances of violence, rape, abuse and brutality. Due to the above, Africa Unite on 21 March 2013, Human Rights Day engaged young people in a mural painting activity in order to raise awareness of Human Rights with emphasis against Gender violence.
The event was held in New Cross Roads, in Nyanga. Young people are the future of any country; therefore, children and young adults were our main target in teaching human rights. The event started with a march around the community with signs that focused on human rights and gender violence (“Her Body, Her Rights – Real Men Don’t Rape”). The march led to the wall where we painted the mural. Xolani Moshani, the artist with support of Africa Unite Human Rights Peer Educators, came together to paint this long-lasting reminder to fight against gender violence in the community.
Too often, people look away because they are afraid in violent instances however communities must unite in order to show strength and end rape. This was greatly displayed through the sketches and drama by the children and peer educators. Along with the DJs, the rappers and musicians that sung about human rights in South Africa.
Afterwards, community representatives gave speeches, stressing that it is the responsibility of everyone to eliminate gender violence – rights are a privilege and come with responsibility! During this time, copies of the Simplified Universal Declaration of Human Rights were handed out to the crowd gathered as well as pedestrians and motorists passing by. The event was an opportunity to educate and teach the children, as well as the adults, about their rights and responsibility as well as what actions they can take if they are violated.
To end the event, everyone had to write down or draw on a piece of paper what they would like to see changed or what they don’t like about their current situation in the community. This was a reflection from all the activities of the day and displayed the concerns of the individual. It also helped Africa Unite to identify major issues that need to be addressed.
For more pictures click here.