Written by Siyabulela Tonono, Published in New Dimension newsletter
From the 24-25th April, the Justice and Service desk of the Methodist Church Mission Unit hosted a two day training workshop on gender-based violence at the MCO boardroom. The aim of the workshop was to train research field workers that will be administering surveys in various parts of the Gauteng province, as part of the Amplify Change project that the Methodist Church is an implementing partner of.
Through funding from Amplify Change, the MCSA is part of an initiative that is aimed at creating a movement across faith communities and civil society, including survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence, that will work together to prevent and end the pain of Sexual Gender Based Violence nationally and specifically in communities across 4 provinces of South Africa. The project has been rolled out in two provinces already, Kwa Zulu Natal and the Western Cape, and is currently being rolled out Gauteng.
The project is a partnership between Tearfund, Sonke Gender Justice, CABSA, Zoe-Life and the MCSA. The aims of the intervention are to
- Build a Sexual and Gender Based Violence Survivor Movement in South Africa
- Support the development of We Will Speak Out South Africa coalition in its vision of ending SGBV
- Work with faith communities to create safe spaces for SGBV survivors
- Activate men and boys to spearhead ending of SGBV
In the Gauteng province, the role of the MCSA has been that of identifying communities and congregations that have been actively involved in the field of sexual and gender-based violence. The plan for the research arm of the project is to conduct research on the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs and practices of faith communities on SGBV. The research will be conducted in the communities of KwaThema, in Springs, Kya Sands informal settlement north of Randburg and Alberton.
The research fieldworkers that were part of the training come from these communities and work in as community activists within their communities. The purpose of the training was to better equip them with the technical skills that will be necessary to conduct research in the communities. Upon conclusion of the research, the findings will be fed back into the community and serve as way for the community to look at the issues that the research highlights.
The fieldworkers will commence their work in May and should complete the data collection by the end of the month.
(For more information on the project contact the Justice and Service desk on 011 615 1616 or email Siyabulela@mco.org.za)