At a cursory glance or Google search, it is clear to the person on the street that CDH is a large, commercially-orientated law firm. While this is by no means untrue, we at CDH do not define our purpose merely as a commercial one. On the contrary, we recognise that as a large commercial law firm we owe a duty, as indeed all who practice law do, to society. We recognise and hold ourselves to the duty to use our legal skills to shape and mold our society toward one that is just for all, and to give back to society, especially to the most vulnerable.
As a demonstration of our commitment to this duty, the CDH Pro Bono & Human Rights Practice was created. With practices in our Johannesburg and Cape Town offices, we are able to contribute to the realisation of an equitable society in which the most vulnerable members of our society are heard, supported and have access to justice.
In this pursuit we recognise that if we want to go far, we must go together. It is in this spirit that our Practice has partnered with Ikamva Labantu, a grassroots, non-governmental and non-profit organisation focusing on childhood development and the wellbeing of older persons in Cape Town’s townships. Through initiatives with Ikamva Labantu, CDH attorneys are able to provide quality and expert legal services to, and otherwise support members of the communities in which Ikamva Labantu has a presence.
One such initiative is the 2019 Mandela Day event arranged by our Pro Bono Practice and CDH’s CSR team. For our 67 minutes of action, we invited ten of Ikamva Labantu’s senior citizens to our office where we ran a beading and jewellery making workshop. In honour of Madiba, members of the Cape Town office came out in their numbers to sit with and learn from the older generation and reflect on the importance of giving back whenever we can. We were taught by the Ikamva seniors to make beaded accessories that would put the most seasoned of designers to shame and were invited to support Ikamva by purchasing some of the accessories already made by the seniors. And so a mini-market was created in which we shared skills, laughs and ideas on how we can come together to do more. The proceeds of all accessories purchased will be handed over to Ikamva to further the incredible work they are doing in numerous communities.
We are proud to work with and support an organisation like Ikamva Labantu. The Mandela Day event is one of the many ways in which CDH’s Pro Bono & Human Rights Practice intends to work with, support and strengthen our relationship with Ikamva. This relationship is one rooted in our shared goal of actualising human rights in some of the most vulnerable areas of our society and our commitment to giving back. We are excited for the future of this and other similar relationships we will form and look forward to further opportunities for growth and upliftment.