Our Active Citizenry Programme encourages active citizen participation and accountability within KwaMakhutha and the surrounding areas. Together with the community we call for service delivery and justice.
Working closely with the community made us realise that many people do not know their human rights, and therefore they do not exercise them. We now host an annual Human Rights Awareness Day. The objective of the awareness day is to empower residents with the ability to exercise their rights. On the day, we show a documentary with a human rights theme. The community is then divided into groups for an in-depth question and answer session. We ask them to identify human rights issues from the documentary that are similar to the ones in our community. The outcome is outstanding as by the end of the awareness day, the community is more informed and united. The implementation of human rights strategies with deadlines are also put in place.
Human Rights Community Dialogues are held twice a year as we felt that the awareness day was not sufficient in addressing the many different aspects of human rights.
We want to create a community where residents assert their human rights confidently, as well as protect and respect the rights of others. Through these dialogues we are getting closer to this ideal.
Our community political forums are very important to us, as KwaMakhutha has a violent political history that led to the loss of many lives. We learnt the hard way that political intolerance and a lack of political awareness can have a devastating effect on a community.
We are glad to see that the political dialogues have increased tolerance, and the relations between the different political parties and the community continues to improve.
We live in a community where service delivery is very slow and many residents are still living without water and electricity.
The success of the civil society forums is evident as participation continues to grow.