Connecting stakeholders, addressing misconceptions about migrants, and the challenges and opportunities in community life
The Soweto Stakeholders workshop took place in Ipelegeng Community Centre on the 25th of November 2014. The workshop was aimed at educating and uniting stakeholders around the community.
In the first part of the workshop, people were asked to describe themselves with one word and share their expectations for the workshop. Most of the participants described themselves as helpers and motivators, which meant we were part of a very special community. Others described themselves as peacemakers and hard workers. The descriptions were positive and showed that the community was keen on the workshop and understood what they were bringing to the table.
The main expectation from people was to network and share information/ ideas. Participants realized that they were not connected and did not know their community-based organisations. For them the workshop would help connect them and bring different stakeholders to the table while also educating them.
The second part of the workshop consisted of a presentation from CORMSA. The presentation was about Refugees and Migrants. The presentation was broken into different sections – the first section was defining the terms Refugee and Migrant. The second section was about why South Africa is a host to international migrants. The presentation was interactive, meaning that participants were urged to give their own opinions and share their viewpoints.
Some of the participants held on to viewpoints that were not informed by facts and were given the chance to express themselves while also being given the correct information. The presentation helped in addressing some of the misconceptions about international migrants, and the participants were keen for more information from CORMSA. This information will be given in future workshops and included in information packs from different organisations.
The final part of the workshop focused on the challenges and opportunities for the community. The challenges varied from service delivery to lack of accountability and incompetence of civil service workers. The opportunities listed were educating people about their rights, publicizing information and sharing ways to solve the challenges experienced within the community. A task team was then set up specifically to address the challenges listed and to be in communication with ACTION and the community.
ACTION is looking forward to the next workshop, which will be taking place in Soweto, Quakers Centre on the 29th of November.