We’ve teamed up with volunteer matching website forgood to help promote opportunities for techies and geeks to put their skills to positive use by giving up a few hours to help a needy cause. You can read more about forgood and what it does here, and more about this week’s cause below.
Rape and sexual abuse are a huge problem in South Africa. Depending on which stats you read, up to 40% of South African women will be raped during their lifetime, and only on in nine incidents will be reported to the police. The problem is monumental, has been ongoing for years and if it’s going to change is going to require even more tools for educating both men and women about sexual abuse, what it is, why it needs to be reported and how to protect yourself against both the crime and its effects.
Learning through play is a trusted way to get youngsters educated about rape and abuse, and the TEARS Foundation is looking for volunteers to help put together a mobile game that can be used to educate about sexual abuse. We asked Kalliste Kuhn and Charlene Roberson from TEARS explain about what they need.
What do you need?
The TEARS Foundation needs three volunteers for more than eight hours each to create a game app to educate about rape and abuse.
Who are you?
TEARS Foundation helps learners by educating them about rape and abuse.
[su_pullquote]”10 000 people used our services in the first year…“[/su_pullquote]TEARS Foundation was founded in 2012 and is a Non-Profit organisation specializing in the development of a nationally accessible assistance and support network for survivors of rape and sexual abuse.
TEARS provides 24 hour access to information about where to find medical, legal and psychological support for victims of rape and sexual abuse, free of charge. Through education, TEARS also seeks to create awareness and facilitate the transformation of attitudes and values, so that sexual abuse of any kind becomes unacceptable in our society. With South Africa regularly dubbed ‘the rape capital of the world’ TEARS is one of the many changes that need to be made to address the scourge of rape and abuse captivating our country.
Who do you help?
We build a bridge between rape and abuse victims and other organisations who can help. (either other NPO’s, hospitals, or the Police). We connect people to each other. We also connect organisations to others doing similar work.
Currently we are busy with five projects:
- A 24/7 helpline. A victim dials the number and then receives an SMS with three places where they can go to immediately to get help. 10 000 people used our services in the first year.
- Hot spot mapping. This is a 3D virtual map of unsafe zones, including specific dates and times which are very unsafe (for example, specific public holidays).
- Medi Map. Medical information reporting. This is a way of keeping track of victims’ medical information.
- Lifeboard game. This interactive board game is taken to schools where children aged 7 and older can find a way to start talking about rape and sexual abuse in our society.
- Joy Cottages. This is still in the planning phase – it will be similar to a safe house where a parent who is being abused and his/her children can go to recover in a safe environment.
What difference will this make?
Many of the children in South Africa don’t know enough about rape and abuse. These are difficult and uncomfortable topics which are not easily spoken about with learners especially within school and family settings. This app will allow engaged and interactive learning around rape and abuse. In effect, it will equip our youth with the education they deserve and are not currently receiving. By enabling learners to engage about this topic through an app that teaches important messages about rights, roles and responsibilities around rape and abuse, we are equipping them with the tools they need in order to protect themselves, to speak out, to know how to treat and value themselves and others and to know where to get help. Changing will enable behavioural change for our future generations. By creating this app, the volunteers helping TEARS will be directly contributing to healing our society, and providing children with the knowledge and help that they so often go without.
And here’s how you can help…
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