Touwsranten, Western Cape – Jet, the discount division of Edcon, today announced a three-year, multi-million rand commitment to the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Seven Passes Initiative to support the implementation and scale-up of interventions shown to reduce and prevent violence.
‘Personal safety is a key concern for all South Africans, and especially low-income single mothers, who are amongst the most vulnerable and suffer the highest incidence of personal violence,’ says Elelwane Pahlana, Edcon General Manager: Transformation – Sustainability, Enterprise/Supplier Development and CSI. ‘We all need South Africa to be the best place in the world to raise a child. Family is the core of the economy and we believe that an investment in mothers is an investment in the future.’
Crime and violence directly hamper economic growth, and significantly hamper the ability of South Africans to realise their potential. Programmes designed to help parents form strong, loving relationships with their children, and keep children stimulated and safe outside of school hours, as well as programmes that promote gender equality are key to preventing and reducing the high levels of violence we experience in South Africa.
Part of the initial investment was used to fund the National Violence Prevention Dialogue Forum meeting, currently being held in Touwsranten (11-12 October) in the Western Cape.
‘To make a real difference we need to ensure, amongst other things, that the best possible programmes are implemented in places where they are needed most,’ says Dr Chandré Gould, senior research fellow in the Justice and Violence Prevention Programme at the ISS. ‘This requires strong, effective partnerships between communities, government, academia and non-governmental organisations.’
The Dialogue Forum bridges the gap between academics and NGOs who have developed and tested violence prevention programmes, and the practitioners and officials who are responsible for providing services to clients in communities around the country.
‘It is a productive and safe space for discussion and information sharing across sectors,’ Gould says.
The Seven Passes Initiative is the beneficiary of Jet’s investment and will use the funds to strengthen the programmes offered to high school and primary school children in the afternoons and during the holidays.
The parenting programmes will also be extended to include the nearby community of Wilderness Heights, where the organisation has not worked before.
Wilmi Dippenaar, Director of the Seven Passes Initiative, says: ‘When we started our programmes 10 years ago there were no graduates in our community. We started with nine children attending our homework classes. Today more than 340 children come to our programmes every afternoon, there are 10 young people who have gone on to university, and many more who have enrolled at FET colleges.’
Naizel Buys, Chair of the Seven Passes board, was one of the first young people to come to the homework classes. She is now a qualified teacher and teaches Grade 4 at the Touwsranten Primary School. She plays a key leadership role in the organisation and the community.
‘The unacceptably high level of violence in our country is destroying the fabric of our society,’ says Pahlana. ‘Innovative solutions are required to solve the problem and we are honoured to be able to help. South Africa is a special place and we will not stand idly by when it is within our power to make a difference.’
This press release is issued jointly by the Institute for Security Studies, The Seven Passes Initiative and Jet.
About the Institute for Security Studies
The Institute for Security Studies partners to build knowledge and skills that secure Africa’s future. The ISS is an African non-profit with offices in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Senegal. The ISS uses its networks and influence to provide timely and credible analysis, practical training and technical assistance to governments and civil society. This promotes better policy and practice, because senior officials can make informed decisions about how to deal with Africa’s human security challenges.
About The Seven Passes Initiative
The Seven Passes Initiative is a registered Non-Profit Organisation (065-133 NPO) that has been working to prevent violence and support and improve youth education and opportunities in Touwsranten and the rural area surrounding Hoekwil (approximately 30 km from George) since 2008. We are building on our experience and good practice, and growing our work into new communities in the Garden Route of South Africa. Our work is making a measurable difference in the lives of people who engage with our organisation.
For further information, contact:
Media enquiries: Jessica Yellin, 083 325 1199, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jet: Marcelle Wilson, Brand and CSI Manager, 011 495 6512, MWilson@edcon.co.za
ISS: Amelia Broodryk, 082 855 5407, email@example.com
The Seven Passes Initiative: Wilmi Dippenaar, Director, 072 673 4346, firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture: Amelia Broodryk