TUGOFWAR

Peter Kapaso is working as a trained facilitator for Khulisa and is currently starting his own NPO with the support of Khulisa.

Find out how Khulisa supports young entrepreneurs to address all needs in  South African communities  and implement sustainable solutions

 

My name is Peter Kapaso, originally from Zimbabwe and currently residing in Republic of South Africa with valid Passport and working permit that allows me to work and study. My childhood was shaped by the loss of my father who died in a tragic shooting while on duty as a police officer when I was in grade 7. Life in a ghetto was incredibly difficult, especially for my mother who relied on pension funds to raise the five boys and make ends meet.

 

I often wonder why and how I started to show problematic behaviors such as misbehaving at home or indulging in alcohol and substances as I used to be a great performing student and a good athlete in my early teenage years. Looking back at it, I believe that I lost hope and focus when I realized that my background will never allow me to attend college.

 

My greatest luck was the possibility to attend college and attain a Diploma in Finance and Business Management through my first job. Besides, my employment history was rather rocky. I still remember a very painful situation, where I wasn’t paid according to the agreements at one f my jobs. I perceived this unfair treatment as a huge discrimination and felt that I was treated as a lesser human because I happened to be a foreigner.  Discrimination makes me feel unworthy, useless, affects my confidence and ego. Even though I was very afraid of being unemployed, I quit the job as I could not see myself working under these conditions.

 

 

After a long year of struggling and doing the handyman jobs, I managed to join another organization as a Project Assistant in Mokopane doing a puppet programme that raises awareness on drug and substance abuse.  I was later introduced to Khulisa and because of my willingness to learn and venture into new challenges I chose to join Khulisa. This was a real milestone in my life as I had finally found my passion for community development. Khulisa has taken me through its programmes and now I am the champion in re-inventing the lives of people.

 

Working with the Orange Farm community for three years was a tremendous experience as it tested my skills and knowledge that I acquired at Khulisa with the Restorative Justice in Mediation. I offer school based mediation at Orange Farm, facilitate programmes and raise awareness in schools. From my own opinion, the major challenges that the area faces would be high rate of unemployment (youth with no skills and school drop outs), poverty, high rate of teenage pregnancy and drugs and substance abuse (nyaope). But I know that Khulisa’s programmes in this area have made a huge impact and change in a sense that youth and community now understand and distinguish the right from wrong. The mediation sessions have brought peace within the community were and has encouraged them to communicate openly and promoted a social cohesion.

 

All and above, I believe that the things I have experienced in my life shaped me to be passionate about community development as when I stand in front of my participants, we can easily relate to each other – a meaningful experience that I don’t want to miss ever again!

 

Khulisa designed the Justice and Restoration Project (JARP), a community-based mediation programme that was implemented in Orange Farm (Gauteng) and Mitchells Plain (Western Cape).

 

The intervention in Orange Farm demonstrated the effectiveness of Restorative Justice Processes in solving challenges related to crime, violence and conflict. The Khulisa JARP programme is a community based initiative that provides alternative methods of dealing with crime, wrongdoing and conflict in the community to the retributive criminal justice system.  It aims to enable more effective justice delivery and access to justice through mediation, an effective tool to achieve Restorative Justice in solving challenges related to crime, violence and conflict.

In Orange Farm, a total number of 131 cases were mediated successfully and Khulisa ensured that the public is aware of these services by building strong partnerships and raising awareness. One main focus was the co-operation with schools and school-based mediation was offered at seven primary schools, solving existing conflicts between learners, teachers and parents in the school, mainly related to bullying, classroom disruptive behaviour and school bunking or more severe problems, such as insults, theft or assault. To enable the schools to address future upcoming problems in a more promising manner, Khulisa offered a basic orientation on Restorative Justice and trained some educators as mediators. The cooperation with the senior citizens that has lead to a lot of referral of conflicts that might otherwise remained unattended and Khulisa spread the power of Restorative Justice to the marginalised and vulnerable group of disabled children at the Coronation Care Centre who are in great need of problem solving as they faced many unexpected and severe challenges.

The project was continued in 2015 moving towards a more preventative and educational intervention by focusing more on raising awareness and life skills sessions. With the support of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Restorative Justice Week during the end of November became a huge success with two very inspiring events at the Westbury Recreation centre on the 17th of November 2014 and in Orange Farm on the 20th of November 2014. Showcases were used to raise awareness and motivate people to get involved in Restorative Justice Projects.

 

Khulisa uses several tools to design interventions that change our communities:

The main aim of our work and any intervention offered by Khulisa is to bring a positive change in the community by designing specific and suitable interventions that include internationally-acclaimed best-practice programmes and engage all relevant stakeholders by building strong relationships.

Learn more about Khulisa’s unique approach to reinvent lives.

In Orange Farm, Khulisa has designed a specific intervention with the main focus on Restorative Justice by offering mediation at schools and in the community. Several workshops focusing on crime prevention and community development were included in this holistic approach and the co-operations with various stakeholders ensured that the intervention fulfilled all of the community’s needs.

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Impact of the Restorative Justice Programme

Khulisa includes professional monitoring and evaluation in all projects to report back on the achievements and constantly improve all interventions.

 

The launch of the JARP in Orange Farm and other communities has proven that Restorative Justice, Alternative Dispute Resolution and mediation are powerful tools to relieve courts, schools and SAPS from their case burdens and lower reoffending rates.

Main outcomes and the impact of the JARP include:

 

  • Reduced recidivism rates: Of the perpetrators that underwent mediation in Orange Farm, only 3% reoffended in the following 12 months.
  • An increase the public perception of having access to Justice: After the programmes of the JARP, more learners at targeted schools were of the opinion that they have access to justice, with an increase of 45.56%.
  • Increased feelings of safety at schools: 59% of the learners felt fairly safe in their schools upon conclusion of the project compared to 45% before.
  • A higher satisfaction amongst community members and learners concerning the approach to conflict solution and crime prevention.
  • Mediation is more effective if it is part of a broader intervention, including workshops that focus on behavior change and basic conflict resolutions skills.

 

A huge “Thank You” to all people that were involved in this intervention to fight drug abuse and addiction!