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. It has a mobile service and a board game designed to achieve these objectives.
Victims of rape and abuse need help and fast to reach a specialist care facility timeously. TEARS 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.
Board educational game
The NGO 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