15 July 2019 by Pro Bono & Humans Rights Alert

Youth empowering youth – our visit to Just Grace

In honour of youth month, the Cape Town Pro Bono & Human Rights Practice (Pro Bono Practice) partnered with Just Grace to roll out two meaningful initiatives aimed at supporting and empowering the youth.

Just Grace is an NGO committed to meaningful, long-lasting and sustainable change and upliftment in the Langa community in Cape Town. Its programmes are designed to uplift members of the Langa community so that they are empowered to be active citizens in their community. Just Grace engages in people-centred community empowerment initiatives that contribute to meaningful and sustainable change in Langa and envisions Langa as a community where residents feel safe and have access to quality education and meaningful employment.

Just Grace has a special focus on supporting and empowering the youth of Langa. It currently supports between 200 to 250 primary and secondary school students and their families by providing access to social work, legal and socio-economic support. During June 2019, Just Grace ran its holiday club programme, creating a safe, stimulating and positive space for the students to spend their school vacation.

It was during this holiday club programme that the Pro Bono Practice arranged for ten young lawyers from CDH to visit Just Grace to run a workshop themed “Youth Empowering Youth”. The CDHers shared some of the challenges they faced in their journeys to becoming successful young lawyers and the tools they used in overcoming these challenges. The students were invited to share their own challenges, and together with our young lawyers created empowerment posters that shared messages of hope, positivity and encouragement. The posters remain on display at Just Grace as a motivational reminder to the students.

In the same week and in collaboration with the CSR team and the first year CAs, the Pro Bono Practice also arranged a Friday afternoon cooking session with the Just Grace students. The CSR team, supported by the first years CAs, ran a very successful Winter Drive in which the Cape Town office donated a substantial amount of food and soft drinks to Just Grace. The Pro Bono Practice and some first-year CAs delivered the food collected under the Drive to Just Grace and helped the Just Grace team prepare and serve some of the food collected for the students. The session ended with the students sharing with us the valuable lessons they’d learned from the two youth month events and how inspired and excited they were to be working with and to be supported by a group of young lawyers.

The Pro Bono Practice will continue to collaborate with Just Grace on various youth empowerment and community upliftment initiatives in which members of the Cape Town office can get involved.

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