Community Education Campaign
Within ARESTA, the Community Education Campaign (CEC) exists to capacitate community members and empower them to facilitate social cohesion in their respective areas.
The primary avenue to combat issues surrounding the plight of refugees occurs through the Workshops of Tolerance and Acceptance. The CEC team conducts a series of trainings at the primary and high school level during the Life Orientation Skills class period.
The Workshop of Tolerance and Acceptance aims to combat issues of xenophobia, racism, and discrimination by increasing learner knowledge of the issues. It also aims to be a catalyst, changing the mindset of the learners and fostering a tolerant and understanding attitude towards refugees and asylum seekers.
Through the Ubuntu Has No Borders Trainings, the CEC team equips identified community leaders (chosen after extensive discussions with the stakeholders at all levels) with the knowledge to effectively navigate through issues of conflict resolution, conflict management and conflict transformation. Skills of mediation and negotiation are also developed during this two-day training.
This training series is conducted with students enrolled in schools, out-of-school youth (ages 18-35), and adults living in the Cape Town Townships. Upon completion of the training, the CEC team acts as a supporter, continuing to empower and assist these individuals with the necessary means to combat issues hindering social cohesion their communities.
The workshops and training series are aimed at promoting awareness and understanding amongst the general public of the plight of refugees and asylum seekers, building bridges and promoting social cohesion between local communities and refugees
Advocacy and Legal Assistance
Domestic legislation provides the basis for effective protection, recognition and enjoyment of rights for refugees and asylum seekers, with the main pieces being the Constitution and the Refugees Act.
However the enjoyment and exercise of such is the core cause of concern mainly due to
- Unfavorable policies
- Ignorance of the provisions of the latter by refugees and asylum seekers.
- Ignorance of the provisions of the latter by government officials and South African nationals.
- Blatant xenophobia of some government officials
The Advocacy and Legal Assistance program is therefore aimed at addressing the above challenges, through :
- The rendering of legal assistance to aggrieved refugees and asylum seekers
- Increasing awareness amongst government departments, officials, other stake holders, eg banks, refugees and asylum seekers.
- Moving for the formulation of more favourable policies through making oral and written submission to Parliament.
- Providing health care interpretation at health institutions.
Adult Education and Training
ARESTA believes that integration can best be achieved through, amongst others education.
For that reason, ARESTA offers the following to refugees, asylum seekers, and South African nationals.
Level 1 – English language, Literacy and communication, Numeracy.
Level 2 – English Language, literacy and communication, Mathematical Literacy, and Integrated Studies
Level 3 – Fundamentals, English language Literacy, Literacy and Communication, mathematical Literacy, Life Orientation.
In addition, ARESTA offers Computer Training Courses to refugees and asylum seekers. Recently, ARESTA further introduced Xhosa classes which are open to refugees only to encourage integration.
AET grew out of adult literacy.
The adoption of AET rather than adult literacy work was the result of political struggle by informed research. In spite of fine achievements of adult literacy work in the struggle, literacy alone was not considered adequate to support real social transformation.
AET was meant to offer an appropriately adult route to a general education aimed at making a significant improvement in quality of life. Another aspect is that the trends leading up to crime and other factors determining the full impact of education to mainstream leavers leave AET open to deliver.
ARESTA funds refugees and asylum seekers willing to undertake/study towards the following programmes,
- Food and drink services
- Food preparation
- Chef’s assistant
- Commercial cleaning
ARESTA believes that these courses will empower refugees to be sustain themselves in the communities and in turn encourage/facilitate local integration. After completion of the training, beneficiaries are skilled to work in the hospitality industry in environments such as hotels, guest houses, and catering companies.
If you would like to help by giving some of your time, please contact us! Volunteers are a valuable resource for innovation and research.
The goal of ARESTA Volunteers is to place energetic and motivated volunteers throughout the Cape Town network of Refugee service providers. This gives volunteer's desired experience of working in small NGOs and with Refugees, while at the same time providing the network with human resources, expertise and time, to fill tasks otherwise not accomplished. Volunteers are a valuable resource for innovation and research to enhance our programmes.
How we Work?
We provide volunteers with concise task descriptions. The volunteer will get defined roles, responsibilities, and expectations for the task they are going to perform. Furthermore, you will be properly inducted like any staff member and receive monthly supervision from the volunteer manager.
What is required of the volunteer?
We understand that people have other commitments and a life to lead. All we require is about 2 hours a week for a minimum of 3 months, depending on the task or project.
Your own ideas and projects - At ARESTA Volunteers we encourage all our volunteers to be pro-active. Several volunteers, after their initial contracts were finished, developed their own ideas and projects.