Blogs

Heavy fighting over the last few days in Pinga, a town in the conflict-afflicted North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has made it difficult for Médecins Sans Frontières to carry out its vital medical work. Thousands of the town’s inhabitants have fled into the surrounding forests and eleven of MSF’s Congolese staff members are missing.
Parliament has passed the Secrecy Bill (the Protection of State Information Bill) and now President Zuma must apply his mind in considering signing it into law. The Right2Know Campaign calls on all freedom-loving South Africans and democrats across the world to contact President Zuma and appeal to him to stop the Secrecy Act and either return the Bill to Parliament for redrafting, or send it directly to the Constitutional Court for review.
In 2012 we introduced a "NGO Profiles" feature on the NGO Pulse Portal in conjunction with our annual “No Pain No Gain” fundraising and awareness-raising campaign.
The Unit for Human Rights Mainstreaming & Capacity Building (Stellenbosch University) was founded to enhance the capacity of government officials and people working with human rights to enable them to better understand what human rights mainstreaming entail.  During the past few years we have become more and more concerned with the implementation of human rights in the Western Cape that lacked a coherent approach.  Even more worrying is the deteriorating national political context which shapes the discourse around human rights.  In many cases there is now a counter-discourse of culture
The Papillon Foundation, founded in 2002, is doing amazing work in the community improvement fields. Papillon runs several accredited, educational, social outreach projects such as computer end-user training in a partnership with the International Computer Driving License (ICDL).  2 929 needy community members have thus far graduated from the computer courses. 4 219 community members have also graduated from the English language tuition courses that Papillon run in a partnership with University of the Witwatersrand.  
The Ambassadors Youth and Community Development organisation has partnered with Liquid Creativity to work on the unemployment gap that exists. Recruitment Junction is a website that will link the youth and employers for free. It is important for the youth to register their CVs on the organisation’s data base for all future opportunities.
Mail & Guardian’s headline for Gerry Elsdon’s suspension reads: ‘The South African Red Cross's governing board has suspended former beauty queen and TV personality Gerry Elsdon with immediate effect’. Elsdon is not simply a pretty face but the chief executive officer of Cinnamon Communication as well as the tuberculosis goodwill Ambassador for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, among other things. However, the Mail & Guardian even though the article is about her suspension, fails to focus on her achievements and contributions.
For over eight years, I have volunteered, worked for and worked with a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). As such, I truly understand the value of a strong civil society, as it does have a very important role to play in the creation of positive change. I have also however had to disengage from some organisations because I have strongly felt that they play a part in further 'disempowering' the marginalised.
For many South African’s the Bill of Rights is only vaguely known or understood, but in Rustenburg the team developing the new integrated public transport system – Rustenburg Rapid Transport (RRT) – are intimately aware of how something as basic as good public transport can support the true expression of South Africa’s  Bill of Rights.
Over the last few months, South Africa has seen an array of strikes at various magnitudes. Although most South Africans think that they are ‘unaffected’ by the violence and riotous behaviour that strikes incite. We must also not forget the ripple effect and the miss-directed anger that comes as part of the wave of violent strikes.

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