Projects in the aftermath of 22 July, 2011
Meaningful projects are being established in the aftermath of grief and bereavement connected to the loss of family members
The Løvlie family have built Hanne’s Shelter – a centre for women exposed to violence in the Ugu District in Natal in South Africa. The centre has been built in memory of their daughter Hanne, who was killed outside the government building in Oslo. It is a realization of Hanne’s engagement for this group of women and this area. The centre was opened in April this year and you can see a picture below.
Jon Vegard Lervågs Memory
The Lervåg family started this year a project in memory of their son Jon Vegard who was also killed outside the government building in Oslo. The project has its focus in the same area as Hanne’s Shelter – Ugu District. Jon was a lawyer and his parents wish to build a centre where poor people and victims of violence and other wrongs shall be able to get legal assistance. Several offices for this purpose will be established. Scholarships will be given to educate lawyers from this area, who will in turn man these offices.
Both these projects are being partly financed by the compensation the families received for the loss of their children. In addition, large sums are being collected from various sources – donations from friends, family, funds, foundations, etc. The Norwegian Embassy in Pretoria has been supportive to these projects, both financially and symbolically. It has been important, both for the projects and for IMPANDE’s work in the UGU district, to have support from the Norwegian authorities.
In IMPANDE we are proud and humble of being a central co-operating partner in the realization of these two projects.
This year, during the 5 years’ commemoration for the 22nd July attacks, the families met Prime Minister Erna Solberg as well as the leader of the opposition, Jonas G. Støre and other cabinet members and members of Parliament, where they were able to inform about these projects.
Below you will find the goals for the Lervåg’s project. This autumn they will have focus on strengthening the financial foundation for the project. You are welcome to contribute. Jon Vegard’s memory has account no 3910 4308574. We have made an informative brochure about the project. You are welcome to contact us for more information: Mail@impande.com or by telephone +47 92889697
Goals for this project, Jon Lervåg’s Memory
• To establish legal grassroots offices, “Impande Legal Office,” that will:
- To establish legal grassroots offices, “Impande Legal Office,” that will: Support the local chieftains’ legal offices with lawyer support (paralegal support)
- Contribute to insight into the police, social worker’s and other professional workers’ preparations and carrying out cases in the legal system.
• To develop legal competence at the grassroots level through:
- A Scholarship Program to get 5 trained lawyers from this geographic area every year in the project period
- A Mentor Program and supplementary training in both paralegal and Rural Law. This will be carried out in co-operation with the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
• To give professional legal counceling to NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) and Tribal Councils in the area
• To strengthen and support victims of violence and other wrongs in co-operation with the Siyamthanda Women’s Shelter. This is an integrated part of Hanne’s Shelter.
Development of module-based solutions for crèches
IMPANDE are at the moment building 10 crèches. The needs in this field are significant in the Ugu District. Around 100 crèches in the area are housed in shacks in deplorable condition. IMPANDE are at the moment working on the development of module based solutions for the building of crèches. Architect Fredrik Christensen from Kongsberg has supplied the initial drawings. These solutions will lead to a reduction in price for the building materials and at the same time increase the quality of the end product.
You can contribute towards building a crèche in the UGU district! Building a crèche costs between 30 to 50 thousand NOK. The ten crèches that are in the pipeline are being financed through gifts from individuals, families, birthday parties, groups of friends, Youth actions, anniversaries, Norwegian kindergartens, as well as Lions- and Rotary Clubs.
II: GLIMPSES FROM SOUTH AFRICA TODAY
How corrupt is South Africa?
Quite often IMPANDE donors and friends of South Africa ask the question of the development in corruption in the country. As the readers of this newsletter will have noticed, communications on the various themes are based on facts combined with my own observations. In this case, however, it is neither easy to find facts, nor make own observations.
A survey among «common people» in South Africa last winter shows that 70% of South Africa’s people think that corruption has escalated during the past five years. Moreover, Transparency International, in their 2015 survey, place South Africa in 67th place of the 174 countries that are being compared.
The Scandinavian countries are considered the least corrupt countries in the world and take the five first places in this survey, with Finland on top.
The most conspicuous in South Africa is that corruption takes place at all levels in society – from president Zuma and his nearest political allies on top and down to civil servants at the lowest level in the administration. At the political top level corruption is organised through various forms of tricking with resources. In South Africa politicians are therefore often called «politricians», i.e. political tricksters.
At medium level in the bureaucracy, the term «tenderpreneurs» has arisen. This is a portmanteau of tenders and entrepreneurs. Tenderpreneurs get rich by giving assignments from public services to business ventures where they themselves or family members are deeply involved. It can be mentioned that the young party leader of the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters), Malena, the most radical and revolutionary politician who left the ANC, is said to have become wealthy through being a tenderpreneur.
At the lowest levels in the bureaucracy one may buy advantages and jobs through small bribes and the like. Worse is that whistle-blowers gets little protection in the country. Because of this, among other things, we know far too little about what happens in the area of corruption at all levels in this society.
However, everything is not bleak concerning the development of corruption in South Africa. The legal system has shown itself to be robust and independent. It does not receive bribes or let itself be trodden on! Even president Zuma has been investigated for the use of public funds (approx. 200 mill Rand) on his private holiday home Nkandla.
Some media are still not always loyal to ANC and dare to communicate open criticism. Moreover, a growing group of people are marking a strong opposition towards the corruption in the country. Many in this group say that South Africa has to wash its stairs from the top and down, meaning that President Zuma and many of his ANC allies must leave before the country will improve its standing in the Transparency International’s corruption index. Whether Zuma as president will survive till the next general election is an open question. Sources within the ANC have leaked to the Press that almost all his allies have asked him to step down before the next election.
Some facts that underline our work
«For every dollar that are invested in early effort for children, society can get between four and ten dollars back.» This assertion comes from Harvard University in the USA. Their reasoning you can read in a report called «In the Blind Spot». 10% of the children in the word live without proper care, and this percentage is probably between 20-30% in the UGU district where IMPANDE works. The causes for this are:
The family as the basic cell in the black population has over time more or less vanished in this society. The Apartheid time contributed to that the men often got work in the mines or industries far away from home. The women became servants for the white, and the children were often left with tired grandmothers in the Transkei Bantustan. After that, the HIV/AIDS epidemic increased the lack of proper carers – a whole generation of them disappeared. Poverty too is still a factor that contributes to children being without proper care in these areas. The mentality is characterized by lack of knowledge about the needs of children, combined with low capacity and commitment to follow-up.
The report about «The Blind Spot» is written by Pia Lang-Holmen for the SOS Children’s Villages. She points out that children often end up in the blind zone when development politics are being formed. Who speaks up and defends them legally and socio-politically when there are no conscientious and strong parents?
IMPANDE tries, in cooperation with the local network organization NAG, to think integrally about what to do for the children in rural areas in the Ugu District. We speak up and fight for the children:
• Give information and work with attitudes in schools so that teenage girls avoid early pregnancies
• Register local initiatives for children (there are 320 such initiatives registered in this area)
• Build and maintain crèches where conditions are unworthy. So far 20 have received help and a hundred wait for support.
• Educate crèche workers
• Build a Centre for families of children with special needs.
• Document and make visible children’s needs and rights towards the authorities.
SOS Children’s Villages do a good and fantastically great effort for children without any support from their families. In IMPANDE we try, as far as possible, not to institutionalize children. We prefer the idea behind crèches as a lifeline and a «second home», where this is possible. And we reach more children with limited means in this way.
We hope to involve more people in canalising their philanthropic engagement through IMPANDE
This post is also available in: Norsk