The horrific rape and murder of 19-year-old student Uyinene Mrwetyana in August 2019 triggered widespread protest and civil action against gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa, including the #AmINext campaign on social media. Our #NOTNEXT project provides pyscho-social support and equips high school girls with the training and skills they need to tackle GBV and lead safe and productive lives.
In November 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa convened the, inaugural, Presidential Summit Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Femicide. In his opening address, he referred to gender-based violence as "[an] affront to our shared humanity". The 2019 #AmINext movement, however, demonstrates that the affront continues. An equally concerning pandemic in South Africa is School-Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV), which includes traditional forms of bullying, intimidation and rape.
We will provide specialised training for high school girls to tackle GBV, including physical self-defence training and avoiding risky spaces and situations. This will include training on minimising risks on social media, as well as what to do if they feel at risk of GBV from within their own schools, families, friends or community. We will also provide one-on-one professional counselling, a peer-support group and creative healing methods like singing, painting or drawing.
We anticipate the following effects: 1. The creation of sustainable initiatives that can be replicated and improved in other high schools and communities in order to reduce GBV. 2. Continued collaboration between ourselves, anti-GBV activists, other organisations (in particular men's groups) for a joint and multi-faceted strategy for tackling the problem together