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I would like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone back in the new year and wish you all compliments of the New Year. Hope 2019 comes with new hopes and opportunities to take us to the greater heights. Additional to the welcome note, I would like to officially introduce our new member, Ms. Mandy Padayachee as our new Child Sponsorship Manager. Let us all welcome her with warm hands and wish her the best of time in the new role.

ActionAid South Africa (AASA) programme, Sexual Violence in Schools in South Africa (SeViSSA) hosted a girl’s club conference themed: Her Voice, Her Body, Her Mind. The conference sought to create a space for learners to reflect and share amongst their peers, the experiences of violence in South African schools. We would like to share with you some of the highlights of the program. [AM1] In 2014 a leaner from Sumbana high school in limpopo was sexually assaulted, with the invention of Xihlobo xa Ndivho one of our implementing partners the perpetrator was arrested and after a prolong court process the perpetrator was sentence for 10 years. Since then, SeViSSA has led a prevention analysis in all our new schools for the 2018, helping the program to respond and focus on challenges faced by the school. During the Child Protection week which was on the 27th May to 03rd June 2018, Girls Club from Almont Technical High School, Tetelo Secondary School and Sekano-Ntoane Secondary School attended the Soweto Child Protection Forum. The event gave them platform to share and discuss amongst themselves the topics of sex and sexuality, choices and decision making, and intergenerational relationships.

Actionaid SA initiative I Define Me project, in Bonteheuwel Cape Town in partnership with the Joint Peace Forum hosted a mentor’s induction on the 6th and 7th of October 2018. For 3 months, there was training for the womxn leaders in the communities and society who will be mentoring the girls in this project. These mentors are volunteering their time to work with the girls and they are phenomenal womxn who are leaders in their own right.

The define me project the ran another workshop from the 17th to October 19, 2018 the theme for the three-day workshop was reclaiming your voice . which is was about opening up a platform to creating safe spaces for young womxn to talk about social issues that affect them . They partook in dialogues and through song. Young womxn here given opportunity to take a huge step on their healing journeys by speaking candidly about their experiences while receiving the support of a welcoming and attentive audience. Videos are available on the I define me on facebook .
AASA in partnership with womxn Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA) and Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) convened a 3-day Leadership school from the 17th to 19th November 2018. The purpose of the Leadership School was to critically engage challenges facing social justice movements in the mining sector, including gendered violence, exploitation of womxn and the role of NGOs in perpetuating inequality and abuse.
AASA, womxn Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA) and Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) held a public dialogue on the 20 November 2018 on strategies to overcome structural oppression and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) prevalent within civil societal spaces. It is our belief as these three organisations that our sector should not only stop at recognising that the violence in society will be reproduced in our spaces, but it is us who must lead in creating environments that are free of violence.

In Solidarity