Transform Education About Rape and Sexual Abuse (TEARS), a local NGO, is encouraging more South Africans to support it in its fight to educate the country on the damage of sexual abuse by asking for the donation of PnP points.
Abuse... verbal, physical and sexual is a scourge in SA. Play your part in combatting it. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
"The most exhausting and taxing thing I have done in my life is set-up Tears. Although we do not handle counselling, daily we get requests for assistance from around South Africa with unresolved issues that need advice," says Mara Glennie, head of the organisation.
"Regrettably, this is not a market that receives financial support, as many organisations in this is field have experienced. At this stage, there are only four organisations in South Africa that publically speak out against this problem and the subject matter makes people uncomfortable - this is not a photo op like feeding kids with smiley faces in a crèche.
Acknowledging women's activism
"There are amazing women who have set up and manage facilities that provide services for women and children and who have been active in the fight against violence. These facilities are nationwide, drawn from every sector of our society and they deserve recognition.
At Tears, we have over 3000 names of quality care facilities on our database, most of which are women-founded.
"I am thinking of a national TV and print programme to find the most Inspirational Community Female Activist against violence and abuse and award her for her efforts and inspiration to changing communities and lives. Tears would be a convener not an entrant but what it will need is a sponsor to create this first in South Africa!
The organisation offers a mobile service and an educational board game to assist rape victims: Mobile service - victims of rape and abuse need help and fast to reach a specialist care facility timeously. The organisation has initiated an easy way in which victims can access the support they need, should these circumstances occur. The mobile phone portal is linked to a database of service providers that provides information via a cellphone using simple prompt-based technology (USSD for basic phones and mobi & GPS for smart phones). It tracks the location of the caller/rape victim and in approx 45 seconds sends back details of the nearest care facility providing immediate support to victims of rape and sexual assault. All victims need to do is to dial *120*7355#. Callers will connect with a confidential service, which will provide the information mentioned above. Care facilities mentioned in the reply do not charge for their services. Callers will incur a small charge from the cellphone at 20c/20 sec. Educational board game - it has designed an interactive board game to educate learners and find a way to start talking about rape and sexual abuse in our society, where such behaviour has become the norm and at the same time taboo, which is a significant challenge. However, LifeBoard offers an opportunity to overcome this issue. It is an interactive and participative game, practical and understandable, therefore easy to implement. The game creates a lively and excitement-filled atmosphere. This is relevant to children and communities for the creation of lines of communication in a non-threatening environment. It allows for both extroverts and introverts to participate with ease, therefore making it a lot easier for the facilitator. Its non-threatening format allows difficult or sensitive subjects to be addressed in a group setting, which creates further reinforcement. Combining learning and play has a doubling effect. The play aspect enhances learning which takes place effortlessly and is reinforced. Secondly, the learning structure behind LifeBoard creates a space for motivated play development: confidence, group activity, peer leadership and social skills take place rapidly under these conditions. Moreover, the "breaking the ice" function of all games build further unity and makes learning easier.
The vision of TEARS is to use LifeBoard as a tool to empower learners and their community to take control of the problems before it occurs. This is an opportunity to initiate proactive change by educating individuals and encourage open critical communication in order to initiate a shift in social attitude and behaviour.
The programme's educational benefits extend beyond the game, with a planned interactive website and nationally broadcast SABC television program also proposed.
The organisation needs funding to continue its mission. For more information, go to www.tears.co.za.
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