Over the past few years, UMTAPO had been working with schools and rural villages in the Ngqushwa Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape, one of the poorest provinces in South Africa. Unfortunately, just as evidence of the impact of the program was beginning to be seen, the funding from the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund had come to and end in July 2019.
The program focused on sexual violence and bullying in schools and gender-based violence in the villages. Outcomes have been the establishment of Peace Clubs in schools and the UMTAPO Women's Coalition and Ubuntu Forums in the communities. Athini Ngxumza, a young unemployed woman from one of the villages who had undergone training by UMTAPO, became employed as a field-worker for the organisation and with her enthusiasm and newly developed skills, she became a household figure in the ten villages in which the program operated.
The program included participatory workshops, dialogues, and campaigns which were inter-sectional and inter-generational.
The demand from adjacent villages also became louder and UMTAPO decided to continue the program without funding until December 2019. It will indeed be sad if UMTAPO were to withdraw prematurely.
To continue and consolidate the gains that have been made, support is required for another year even if it is the minimum required.
“I wish there was an office where people could go and get advice or help from UMTAPO because in most cases the victims ask where they can get UMTAPO as the Department of Social Development is failing to give them the assistance they need”
“UMTAPO has helped us, the police, a lot in ensuring that victims SPEAK OUT’
Sergeant Nozuko Booi, SAPS – FCS (Family matters, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses)
At Ncedolwethu Senior Secondary School, the chairperson of the UMTAPO Peace Club had been elected to be the school president for 2019. The Principal has encouraged UMTAPO to train more learners because he says he can only imagine how the school would be if more learners got involved.