Launched in July 2015, Kwanele is a five-year pilot programme working in 20 schools in Khayelitsha township in South Africa to decrease the high level of gender-based and sexual violence in schools, and ensure a safe learning environment for girls. The programme is implemented by the Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication (SCI) in partnership with Grassroot Soccer South Africa (GRS), with support from Comic Relief, as part of the Sexual Violence in Schools in South Africa (SeVissa) initiative.

Communication Strategies

The Kwanele programme is being implemented in 10 primary schools and 10 high schools in Khayelitsha, through Soul City’s Soul Buddies and Rise Young Women’s Clubs. Kwanele is designed to empower girls and strengthen the capacity of schools and communities to identify and deal with gender-based violence. The programme is based on a theory of change that highlights the importance of implementing a comprehensive whole school/community approach to bring about change at multiple levels.

Kwanele comprises the following approaches

  • Schools Clubs: Soul Buddyz Clubs (SBC) and Young Women’s Clubs (YWC) are being established in each of the programme schools. These clubs will use an interactive and participatory life skills curriculum combining Soul City’s existing Soul Buddyz and Girls clubs methodologies with Grassroot Soccer’s Skillz youth intervention strategies, which include girls soccer leagues, life skills lessons by female role models, split sex group discussions complementing Life Orientation Classes, and holiday programmes, and community events.
  • School Safety Plans: The clubs will catalyse schools to develop safety plans and policies and coordinate the SCI’s Alcohol Free Schools campaign with stakeholders. This will include training school governing bodies (SGB) and principals in developing and implementing school policies and practices to prevent sexual violence, identify vulnerable children, and link them to appropriate services.
  • Training parents and care givers: To train parents and care givers on identifying sexual violence and accessing appropriate services, Soul City will deliver its “Hands on Parenting” course and recruit parents of club members to champion community activities.
  • Community dialogues: To address social and cultural norms that perpetuate violence against girls, community dialogues will be held to facilitate dialogue and on-going engagement with stakeholders to promote a multi-sectoral approach to addressing sexual violence.

Development Issues:

Education, Girls, Gender-based Violence

Key Points:

According to project information, "women and girls are disproportionately affected by gender-based violence and sexual violence in South Africa, with statistics reaching alarming proportions. Through SeVissa, Soul City and Grass Roots Soccer and relevant stakeholders are working to prevent gender-based violence and sexual violence in schools through appropriate and innovative channels, including edutainment and sport."

The Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication uses a combination of mass media, social mobilisation and advocacy to improve the quality of life and health of people in Southern Africa. The organisation uses communication for social change activities to strengthen individuals, communities, and society based on active citizenship and principles of social justice.

Grassroot Soccer is an adolescent health organisation that "educates, inspires and mobilises young people to overcome their greatest health challenges and live healthier, more productive lives. Through youth friendly sport-based activities, innovative programming based on sound research, and inspiring role models, GRS provides young people with health information and access to services, so they can make educated choices about HIV and AIDS, sexual health and gender-based violence."

Original article here.

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