The hosting of a human rights indaba last week has taught a group of Vision Afrika learners not only about their own rights, but also how to give presentations in a public forum.
The Grade 11 students at the educational development NGO’s Kayamandi site prepared for the event by spending three sessions researching different articles of South Africa’s Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is a human rights charter that aims to protect the civil, political and socio-economic rights of all of the country’s citizens.
After analysing their assigned articles, each research group, which comprised four or five learners, then presented their findings back to the wider class in easy-to-understand, non-technical English.
The aim of the activity was to raise awareness among students of what their rights comprise and where they can go to seek help should those rights be violated. Another goal was to help them prepare their presentations for the forthcoming indaba.
Key issues included the right to question the opinions of elders in a traditional Xhosa society that frowns upon such activity, and the right to information for self-development and empowerment purposes in the wake of apartheid.
The indaba, which took place on Saturday 27 September, was advertised via a poster campaign around the Kayamandi township. 88 people attended the event, including thepresenters’ Grade 11 peers and other schoolchildren, a couple of Vision AfriKa’s German volunteers and members of the wider community.
After presenting what they had learned about the Bill of Rights to their audience, the students recited praise poetry, performed traditional dancing and gave a war cry in honour of South Africa’s Heritage Month.
The experience meant that the Grade 11 learners not only developed useful public presentation skills. They also learned the importance of taking responsibility for their own actions by turning up to rehearsals on time and finding ways to ensure that the event was both entertaining and educational.
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