Introduction to Crime in South Africa
How safe is it to visit South Africa?
This is a question has been asked by many tourists planning to visit Mkulu Kei Horse Trails in South Africa.
South Africa, a near to perfect tourist destination, with stunning beaches, unique wildlife, spectacular weather, a standard of accommodation that surpasses most first world counties and it is unbeatable value for money. However the crime rate in South Africa is high.
South African society is complex and a ‘one fit all’ answer does not apply. The high crime rate can be attributed to many reasons.
Many children, particularly amongst the poorer sections of South African society have grown up in single parent family, or in circumstances with the absence of a consistent primary caregiver, or child headed homes and are plagued by problems such as alcoholism and violence. Drugs and alcohol is easily available and strongly linked to violence, with poverty, unemployment, lack of education and self-esteem major contributing factors.
The result is that criminal groups and a criminal culture has entrenched itself in township areas. Organised crime uses the vulnerable youth with feelings of low self-worth and with few role models the youth are an easy target and once that becomes the norm the cycle continues.
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Social Development and Nicro on their ‘Journey Program’ are referred by a prosecutor to bring groups to us on their diversion and youth development for both young offenders and those who are at risk.
At Cher-a-Don Adventure Centre we encourage self-expression, commitment, accountability and a sense of community. We offer alternative options and new life skills before they get involved in more serious crimes. Our aim is to empower young people to take control of their lives and give them the tools to become economically productive and be positive change agents within their communities. On completion of the diversion programme by changing their attitudes, and learning new values and life skills, the case against them is withdrawn. They are given “a second chance”.
The South African Government is trying to address the crime rate in South Africa however it is all our responsibility to help
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life." Chinese proverb
By empowering our youth with good, sound life skills and motivating change especially those "at risk" or in conflict with the law we can change a community, change South Africa to be a safer place.
Most of the youth that have come to us having done crime are there for petty reasons although we have had some serious cases. By changing their life skills through the activities especially with the horses we at Cher-a-Don are helping change their lives, helping change a community, the Eastern Cape, and South Africa
See our program using horses to inspire change. Equine Assisted Therapy Learning
Together We Can Make South Africa "Crime Free"
We encourage a feeling of belonging, we acknowledge their skills, strengths and talents as well as promoting a feeling of independence, a sense of generosity, caring and sharing. We encourage victim empathy and work on alternative destructive behaviour and appropriate anger management. The program achieves this by equipping the participants with new tools to understanding themselves, be responsible and learn how to relate to others by allowing them to express their ideas as well as view feelings and express themselves in a constructive way.
At Cher-a-Don the program is undertaken in a safe interactive environment, challenging, non threatening, non judgmental environment where the participants through a series of ice breakers, obstacles and horses are stimulated into discussion and communication in the attempt to promote the participant to take responsibility and plan for their future with new behaviours and life patterns.
We are making a diffrence and you can too, contribute towards a better future for all in South Africa
"Together let’s make the Eastern Cape in South Africa a crime free zone, less crime more tourists, more jobs, less poverty" - Cheryl & Don
"Statistically, 96% of the clients that have
gone to the journey program do not re-offend. This in a way epitomize
that there is good work that is done by NICRO and Lalapanzi Adventures.
"Crime is one of the challenges in S.A. Our visit to Lalapanzi had a positive impact in aim of changing the mindset of our youth. From the group of children that visited the Centre there is not a single child who is currently in conflict with the law. The Centre is doing a great job, whereby youth can still change their attitude and gain self respect and become great leaders of tomorrow. Preventing crime is everybody's responsibility but for a Crime Free S.A. we need people like Don and his team to motivate our children." - Social Worker Uitenhague
"Miss Sheron thank for motivate me and make know how life goes. Thank you for everything."
"Firstly I would like to thank Don and Cheryl for helping South African youth and encouraging others. God may help you for a long time and give success in what you are doing. Thanks."
"I would lyke to take this opportunity of thanking you guys of Lalapanzi firstly for welcoming us, with a warm love. Also for the gud programmes that you present to the juveniles, they are really great and wonderful and again they way you present them is as if you are living them, in fact you rock Sharon or can I say Shaz, pliz keep up the gud work you are doing and I also believe that u’ve have wonderful gift from God and don’t you, dare let it go from you. You are so special and you make the lost children feel so special again. That is so wonderful, we learned a lot. Thanx!!!!"
"Sharon I just want to say thank for allowing us to come to your place. And we feel very special and comfortable. I learn a lot about leadership and decision making. It was very interesting. I was not bored I enjoy myself so when I arrived to S.E.4 will often use your skills to other children. Thank you."
Reports from Social Workers
NICRO EAST LONDON
REF: THE JOURNEY PROGRAM, AN INITIATIVE THAT FACILITATES CHANGE IN THE CLIENTELE SYSTEM AND PROMOTES RESELIENT BEHAVIOR.
South Africa is the most dangerous country in the world, which is not at war. This is because it is vulnerable to high rates of crime which is one of the social pathology that affects the functionality of the country as a whole. South Africa has a high rate of murders, assaults, rapes, and other crimes compared to most countries. The answer towards combating some of the crimes committed in South Africa is to ensure effective rehabilitation of people who offend. It is very integral to address the criminal thinking patterns that lead to offending behavior so as to reduce the possibility of recidivism.
NICRO in collaboration with other stakeholders, such as Department of Social Development, SAPS, Department of Justice to mention among others, have been fighting the problem of crime through a repertoire of rehabilitative programs which are aimed at promoting resilient behavior. One such program which has shown great success and impact in the previous years is the Journey. The Journey Program is a Nicro initiative in collaboration with various stakeholders. It is an intensive and training programme aimed at high risk youth. The programme involves life and vocational skills training in addition to adventure education. The aspects of the journey are aimed at promoting self-expression, self esteem, commitment and accountability. It is important to note that this project is people centered. These youths participate in different activities such as spider web, monkey rings, canoeing, cargo nets, paint ball, hiking, horse riding, night walk and abseiling to mention among others. It encourages them to heal the damage they have caused in the community and become constructive and contributing citizens of the country.
This program has shown great impact in the life of the clients. This has been made possible by the skilled facilitators of Lalapanzi Adventures. The activities that they do with the clients promote experiential learning and in the process ensures that clients self introspect about their life in the community. This in turn will lead to behavioral change hence solving the problem of re-offending in the broader spectrum of our societies. So much energy and time has been put by Don Fraser (Lalapanzi facilitator) and his colleagues in making sure that the activities which they do with the clients serves the purpose of making them learn. Their Adventure centre is so viable and adds meaning in the life of clients who go there. There are very able to develop good relationships with the clients that there are working with which is a very cognizant factor of ensuring that their activities add meaning in the life of the clients.
Statistically, 96% of the clients that have gone to the journey program do not re-offend. This in a way epitomize that there is good work that is done by NICRO and Lalapanzi Adventures.
Clients come out from this program prepared to channel their lives in the correct path. This is seen through a number of success stories which social workers gather from such journeys.
One success story is as follows:
A 17 year old offender by the name of Bowler (real name not used for confidentiality) was arrested in 2009 for assault G.B.H. Bowler is a school dropout and was very problematic at home due to his association with anti-social peers. The court suspended his case on condition that he attends NICRO programs. The client did attend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy sessions and completed successfully. This program helped the client to restructure his cognitions that were distorted when he committed the offence. It gave the client a sense of meaning in that it promoted insight into his thought processes and showed him how distorted cognitions can lead to a number of pathologies in the broader spectrum of the society. Furthermore, the social worker also facilitated the victim offender mediation so as to promote restorative justice. Moreover, this offender was included into a journey program that was held on the 12th to the 16th of July 2010 at Lalapanzi Adventures. This journey served as a viable strategy of further instilling resilience in the mindset of the client. During the first days of the journey program the client was very withdrawn and tended to isolate himself. He was very quiet and never participated fully in the activities of the program. However, through rotational tasking and role plays the client opened up. He started to interact well with other children and did volunteer to do some of the activities. He told the social worker that he would love to go back to school because he has got a good potential of having a bright future in posterity. He admitted that most of his peers are the ones that lead him in the wrong direction.
Moreover, he confessed that the journey program opened up his mind because he was exposed to learning things like group management, courage, trust, concentration, listening, respect, politeness, humbleness, self control, assertiveness, leadership, determination, decision making, and conflict management to mention among others. This was a turning point in his life because when he reflected from what he was learning it became clear to him what he wanted in life. This is mostly because the activities used at the journey such as spider web, cargo nets, see-saw, abseiling, hiking, monkey rings and canoeing to mention among a few, promoted self introspection and at the same time providing adequate learning about the realities of life. In a nutshell the success of the journey program made this offender realize his qualities in life and as a result it gave him stepping stones upon which he can be a goal-oriented person in posterity. Last but not least, the rapport that he managed to develop with other participants gave him strength of building such a rapport in his family. The youth asserted that,
“It is time for me to change... I enjoyed the session on assertiveness, rights and responsibilities, consequences of drug use, and the alternatives to drug use. I also learnt about the consequences of crime”
The youth was really empowered by the adventurous trip. He felt that the journey has given him a sense of belonging and make him more responsible in life. He admitted that he will not commit crime because he understands the consequences of the criminal record.
The youth further states that, “This camp opened up my mind a lot and l really need help so that l can go back to school...” It can be noted that from this assertion the youth has changed his behavior for the good. This was made possible by the journey program.
In a nutshell great work is being done at Lalapanzi Adventures and for that if many resources can be channeled in to this centre through the buy-in of other funders notable changes can be seen in the crime statistics in our country. NICRO need to thank the dedication that has been shown by the facilitators at Lalapanzi and wishes that such courtesy continues for the benefitted of the clientele system that we are serving. The connotation of this is that NICRO is in a good path of promoting a safe, sure, secure South Africa.
Compiled by: Mr. E. Muleya (Social Worker East London)
Social Worker Uitenhague
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 8:09 AM
Some of the children had behavior challenges coupled with use of substances like dagga, mandrax, alcohol, etc. Now they are in a position to understand the circumstances of using drugs and they motivate fellow learners on good behavior, mentoring other learners. They indicated that they cannot forget about the games where they learnt about team work, leadership, absailing, horse riding etc.
As the Department of Social Development conducting Crime Prevention Programme we were expecting children to change their behavior and gain self awareness and be in a position to identify strengths within themselves, become leaders and mentors (big brother, big sister) to other fellow learners. Lalapanzi made this possible.
Crime is one of the challenges in S.A. Our visit to Lalapanzi had a positive impact in aim of changing the mindset of our youth. From the group of children that visited the Centre there is not a single child who is currently in conflict with the law. The Centre is doing a great job, whereby youth can still change their attitude and gain self respect and become great leaders of tomorrow. Preventing crime is everybody's responsibility but for a Crime Free S.A. we need people like Don and his team to motivate our children.
Keep up the good work