Society & Culture
What Does My Safe Park Mean to Me? Developing ‘Youth Committees’ As Part of the Isibindi Safe Park
This episode is a recording made at the 22nd South African National Association of Child and Youth Care & 4th CYC-Net world conference, which took place in Durban South Africa of June 2019. The presenters were: Professor Paul Cooke, Dr Lou Harvey, Martin Keat and three Child and Youth Care Practitioners from Leth’ithemba Isibindi Safe Park, Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni.
The following is the conference abstract”
“Since 2016, the University of Leeds in the UK has been working with the Bishop Simeon Trust in Ekurhuleni, using arts-based projects to develop and sustain ‘Youth Committees’ in a number of Isibindi Safe Parks across the region. These projects have helped to build the confidence of the young people they support, on the one hand, and also helped the Safe Parks access state funding, on the other (for which having a functioning ‘Youth Committee’ is obligatory). Specifically, these Youth Committees have used a range of art forms – including theatre, music, dance, ‘grass-roots comics’ and participatory filmmaking – to organise ‘advocacy campaigns’ that have raised awareness of a range of issues that are important to the young people who use the safe parks, but that they feel tend to be ignored or misrepresented in their communities.
In so doing, this work has highlighted to a group of young people who are frequently either ignored by, or seen as a problem for, their communities the potential of their voice and its power to help them effect change in their lives for themselves. In 2019, the various Safe Parks we work with will be focusing on the question ‘What does my Safe Park mean to me?’ and will be developing a joint campaign to raise awareness of the role played by Isibindi Safe Parks in their communities.
The aim of our presentation is twofold. First, it will showcase the work of the young people involved in the Youth Committees we have supported, providing them with a national platform for their activities and a significant opportunity to highlight the potential of their voice. Second it will present a set of training materials we are developing for other Isibindi Safe Parks interested in using arts-based methods to create and sustain their youth committees.”
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