A safe space to call your own

RED RIVER Primary School in Manenberg is not always a happy space. Blocks of flats look down on the school’s classrooms, and young men hang out of the flats’ windows, whistling at and cat-calling the school’s female pupils, sometimes even throwing stones at them.

A group of Grade 6 pupils decided that rather than enduring the treatment, they wanted to see positive change. So when a human rights lawyer visited the school some months ago, they brainstormed an idea with her to create a safe space in the school’s enclosed tuckshop area…

Read the full iol article online.

On the Bench

Rock Girl benches are taking our spaces back

When a group of grade five girls from a school in Manenberg confided in human rights lawyer, India Baird, that they didn’t feel safe at school, she decided to create a safe space for them, by installing a bench next to the tuck shop. India, with Karina Turok, is at the helm of a project called Rock Girl: an organization which highlights challenges faced by women.

Their first campaign, the Safe Spaces Initiative, is a grassroots public art and education drive to raise awareness about the need to create safe places for girls and women in schools, at work and in communities. The idea of “eyes on the street”, in the form of benches in prominent places, will make cases of assault more visible in communities…

Read the article online capetownmagazine.com.

Inspiring Agents of Change

Strike a woman and you strike … Rock Girl,
a campaign to help women become stronger and take back their communities.

Founded by human rights lawyer India Baird and Karina Turok, Rock Girl is a grassroots movement created to inspire girls to be agents of change by taking back their space and forming pockets of safety within their own communities in Cape Town and across South Africa – while raising awareness about violence and how to deal with it.

An initiative by a group of young girls inspired Rock Girl to help give them their own safe space within their primary school in Manenberg.

Keep reading the full article at capeinsights.com

Designing safe spaces for women

 Tomorrow, 9 August 2011, is Women’s Day in South Africa – but celebrations started early in Cape Town with Freeworld Design Centre’s fundraising auction for the Safe Spaces campaign, an awareness initiative around the need to create safe environments for young women. On Thursday, 4 August 2011, around 350 people, including City of Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille, gathered to show their support for this worthy initiative.

On auction were soccer balls transformed by 46 talented local  designers and creatives into works of art. Participating artists included those well-known, such as political satirist Zapiro; award-winning author Lauren Beukes (the recent recipient of the Arthur C Clarke Award); and Conrad Botes of Bitterkomix fame; as well as up-and-coming, such as Gabrielle Raaff and Francois van Reenen. All were given a (mostly) indestructible soccer ball from Grassroot Soccer – an organisation that uses soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilise communities to stop the spread of HIV – which they then had to redesign as a collectible artwork…

For more information visit capetown2014.co.za

Rock Girl Safe Spaces

… This initiative seeks to reduce the incidence of violence in characteristcally unsafe areas by creating “safe spaces”. With the help of various artists and designers, women and girls in the community co-create unique benches which are then strategically placed in hand-picked, underprivileged areas and serve to represent a place of refuge for anyone in need.

For each safe space created with its ROCK Girl bench, a “sister” bench is placed in a prominent position within the city. Not only are these identical sister benches a work of art, they also create awareness of the help that is available within such communities.

Travelstart is proud to be a sponsor in this project. Our benches will be placed near our office in Cape Town’s city centre with its sister bench at Thembalitsha’s School of Hope…

The full article is available online travelstart.com

Rock Solid

Check out Safe Sapces, a grassroots public art and education campaign creating safe spaces for girls and women.

It’s sad but true that the Western Cape has one of the highest incidences of violence against women and children. Rock Girl is an organisation that aims to improve this situation by focussing the spotlight on the challenges faced by these women and children.

Their first campaign, the Safe Spaces Initiative, is a grassroots public art and education drive to raise awareness about the need to create safe places for girls and women in schools, at work and in communities.

Tim Lewis and Lovell Friedmann designed the first bench which was showcased at Design Indaba in February 2011. A toll-free number will accompany each bench. Upon dialing this number listeners will hear stories of women and girls, information about the project and artists and find out about where to go for help in dealing with issues of violence.