Thursday, November 19, 2009

Trouble Signing In + Amber's Weekly Update

Hi Everyone

I hear that people are having trouble logging in, so we'll have to work on that so we can keep up with one another. It was a busy week in JAW - here's what I was invovled in - let me know what has been left out:

1. Staff Capacity Building - Sexual Offenses Act + Sexuality. Bongi, Thobile and I (the access to justice team) did a 2-day training with Grace, Victoria, Phakamile, Ntombi, + Gcinle. We had some very interesting conversations about why rape happens, what consent means and how cultural practices like damages place the interests of men over those of women and girls who have been raped in the community. We spent the second day learning about normal sexual development in children and looked at ways to overcome our uncomfortableness with talking to our children about sex. We talked about how the silence around sex in general makes it harder to surface issues like rape and sexual abuse and how making people feel ashamed of their bodies and their sexuality is a form of power over / oppression.

2. Up to Melmoth - Jenny and I went to Melmoth to have a meeting with Grace, Sabelo and Nozipho and I got to see the new JAW office. It looks great and has a nice meeting space. We took up new office furniture, so it's starting to feel more like home. The youth team was running workshops this week - looking forward to hearing about how it went.

3. Grace showed us the movie she made in Cape Town at the Womens Net training. She made a great film about HIV testing of women during pregnancy.

4. Jenny is off to the Cape for a leadership training course with the Proteus Initiative in conjunction with the CDRA. I hope it's rejuvinating and exciting for her -- a needed change of pace.

5. Christmas Party - we are getting ready for the Christmas party which will be held in Melmoth on the 18th of December. We all drew names for the secret santa exchange and are preparing our acts for the "JAW Have You Got Talent" search. So get ready!!!

I'm looking forward to reading all the updates about Phakamile's trip to Joburg, Bongi's meeting in Durban with the Provincial VEF, Grace's trip to Cape Town, the Youth Team trainings., the women's safetly audit in Yanguye and tea sharing exercise. We are also waiting for the results of the entrance exam written by several staff who want to apply to participate in the UKZN Center for Adult Education course. We are also waiting to hear from our interns from Australia who are coming to join us in January for a few weeks. Lots going on !!

I'm waiting to hear from you - let's try to start using this reflection space!!!

Take care


Angela said...

Hi Everyone,

I’m Angela, a student at Monash University Melbourne, Australia, and I’m very excited to be joining you as an intern in 2010!

I hope I am using this blog correctly (I’m new to blogging myself), but it is great to have an open forum to connect with you all, and to provide feedback to each other.

I have had the opportunity to read about JAW, your mission, values, goals and programs – thanks to Jenny who sent me these documents. While the reading has helped to deepen my understanding of the work that you do, I am still a little daunted, as you have a number of programs that encompass so many different (though related) elements. In order to make the most of the internship, Jenny has asked me to express which program I am most interested in working with. Your youth program interests me greatly, as does your focus on HIV/AIDS from a gender equality perspective.

I thought if I took this opportunity to tell you a little about my background and interests, that I might be able to get your help in suggesting where I could best contribute to your work!

I have an interest in public health from a social justice perspective. I have focussed my studies and previous internships on elements of the social model of health. This differs from the traditional Western biomedical view of health (that simply looks to treat or cure). Instead, the social model looks at the social determinants of health, factors that occur outside the physical body - in the social environment. This includes factors such as education, employment, gender, access to and affordability of services and public policy. The social model of health focuses on interventions such as community development and engagement, raising awareness and building knowledge, advocacy, working in partnerships and creating healthy public policy.

I have had some experience working in evaluation and monitoring, and thought there might be some way to include this in the internship. With limited resources and funding in community organisations, evaluation is often left till last. This is unfortunate, as evaluation has proved extremely important in ensuring that programs or organisations are getting the most out of what they do. It enables us to see where things are working well, where they can be improved, and also to collect proof as to the outcomes of our work (this can be important information to show to the community, to funders, or to use in support of advocacy work).

I am really looking forward to hearing from you, and to being able to work with you next year. Ultimately I will be happy to contribute in whichever way you see fit!


Dom said...

Hi Amber this blogspot is brilliant! you must all be thrilled to be able to keep in touch like this:) Congratulations, Dom