Umtapo Centre

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Democracy, Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Training Course

Following the successful courses conducted in Limpopo for students from universities in Limpopo and Gauteng, two more courses will be held in 2015:

22nd - 27th November 2015 in Western Cape

30th November - 5th December in Eastern Cape


Steve Biko Seminar


The Annual steve biko seminar in collaboration with the Durban University of Technology (DUT) will take place on 18th September 2015 at the DUT from 09h30 - 15h00.


Enver Motala from NMMU will be the keynote speaker on Education for Liberation: Myth of Possibility?



Number of articles: 1

"BREAKING THE SILENCE AGAINST CHILD ABUSE" Join the movement! 2013-09-04

THE JOURNEY... OF THE

CHILDREN'S PEACE AND EMPOWERMENT PROJECT


by Niyanta Sookraj (17), Arena Park Secondary School







“I would rather die for an idea that will live than live for an idea that will die.”      Steve Biko

The past 2 years have certainly been a heart-moving, spiritually uplifting and mentally empowering journey. 
Allow me to take you back to the very beginning of this momentous organization, where the foundation for the
CPEF was laid. In February 2011 -22 vibrant young peace activists from Umtapo Centre’s various structures came
together to set their heart and soul in the strategic planning workshop for the
 Children’s Peace and Empowerment Project,where we planned for provincial dialogues and its implementation,
 identified the role and function of the CPEF and shared experiences
and knowledge of the situation of the children in the 3 provinces, namely:
  • Eastern Cape
  • Limpopo
  • KwaZuluNatal
Like many of those present, I was mesmerized by the philosophy and the possibility of what would
come from this brilliant campaign. We believe in providing a platform for the children who have been exposed
to violence and abuse their whole lives, the children who went to bed in tears every night and woke up with scars
every morning.
The children who have been victims for so long that they have turned into perpetrators,
the children who hold the future of South Africa in their hands…
these are the children who we aim to empower by equipping them with the knowledge of our constitution,
services and by making the light at the end of the tunnel become a reality.
The country is daily bombarded with news of the gruesome atrocities acted out on our children
and we refuse to watch one of our own become a bruised, damaged statistic.
These roles and functions were summed up into 3 categories: advocacy and lobbying,
mobilizing and awareness raising and empowerment for a more just society.
It has since become apparent to me that empowerment and education are two sides of the same coin.
It is through this workshop that the national campaign: “Breaking the silence against child abuse,” was born.
Since then the forum has grown and developed into a successful branch of
Umtapo Centre with over 50 forums in existence in just the 3 provinces of South Africa.  

Pre-dialogues were held as the pre-cursor to the 3 provincial dialogues in which the representatives
took their invaluable information home, to plant the seeds of a better tomorrow.
Various community issues were raised and solved by the youth as the movement began to grow.
The 13th of August 2011 saw the Olive Convention Centre in Durban’s North Beach filled with
over 1000 children from schools, children’s organizations and children’s homes from all over KZN.
The sight I can truly say filled my heart with joy as children from all walks of life came together to give
South Africa a more humane face, expressing ourselves with drama, song, poetry and dance.
The vital session of the dialogue was the interactive one which allowed children to
speak out from the floor on issues of abuse that they were personally confronted by.
These included domestic violence, rape, sexual and emotional abuse, drug abuse, child abandonment
and discrimination.
Representative from the 3 dialogues attended a national dialogue at the end of 2011 where the idea of a
Children’s Movement was mooted and a unique model for child participation and development was unveiled.
In 2012 weekend leadership camps were held for children in primary schools and CPEF’s were established.

Community workshops began to bring in community stake holders and thus,
Ubuntu Community Forums were set up as support structures.
July 2013 saw the provincial evaluation workshops in action to assess the development of this project,
make recommendations for the way forward and to discuss the Children’s movement.
My personal journey with the CPEF is difficult to encapsulate in a few words,
but I will say it has been truly breath taking and has moulded me into the leader that I am today.
Being a part of the CPEF has helped me realize my passion for healing people
and of someday becoming a successful doctor.
I, like all peace activists, have eyes that bleed to the sights of injustice,
a voice that will rupture ear drums of discrimination and a heart that beats to the song of freedom.

To conclude I leave you with my favourite quote by Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you want to see.”