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Professor Thuli Madonsela, South African Advocate and Former Public Protector of South Africa

Khulisa Social Solutions are proud to announce their partnership with Professor Thuli Madonsela as she embarks on a new initiative, the Thuli Madonsela Foundation.

Professor Thuli Madonsela has become an icon of all that South Africa’s fledgling democratic nation strives to be and thus we are incredibly honoured to embark on this partnership with her.

Now, more than ever, South Africans realise the urgent need to achieve sustainable socio-economic inclusivity, impactful leadership, and solid service delivery within its communities, as a path to reducing the strain of poverty on the nation as a whole.

The objective of this partnership, through improving access to social justice in communities across South Africa, is to significantly and sustainably reduce the number of South Africans entwined in the vicious poverty cycle.

“Without inclusiveness, social justice and participation in any democracy, peace is an illusion. South Africa’s democracy, development and peace rely on our young leaders. We need to find a way to engage them and I hope to help create space and a platform in which to do so,” says Professor Madonsela.

On the morning of 20 February 2018, World Day of Social Justice, Professor Thuli Madonsela will be taking part in a collaborative community event titled ‘Walk in My Shoes’ at the venue of our official event partner, the Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill and supported by Stellenbosch University Law School.

The event will provide a platform, based on interactive storytelling, to promote dialogue around relevant social justice issues.

The dialogue, facilitated by Professor Thuli Madonsela, will focus on ensuring that, through commitment to community development, ‘no one will be left behind’.

This event provides an opportunity for marginalised voices to be heard including underprivileged school-going children, ex-offenders, members of the LGBT community, domestic violence and rape survivors, victims of Xenophobia, community members from Kliptown and the homeless, both rural and urban.

With the 5 core pillars of the Thuli Madonsela Foundation being democracy dialogues, access to information, advocacy, research and training; Professor Thuli Madonsela aims to encourage citizens, government, businesses and like-minded organisations to provide resources, incentives and information that will prove crucial for communities to have a strong articulated voice in their progress towards improving the lives of those around them. This, in turn, will help government and development agencies (NGO sector) to listen, and to act upon the feedback they receive.

Ultimately, we seek to achieve measurable and sustainable improvement in communal and individual life in South Africa through addressing social injustices within communities partly by holding government and service providers accountable.

Given Professor Thuli Madonsela’s seven year role as former South African Public Protector (2009-2016), she truly understands the pivotal need for the various sectors (public, private and NGO) to work together in order to give the people a voice and ensure the prosperity of South Africa’s socio-economic ecosystem.

“How can we re-imagine South African democracy? Can we hope for ethical and accountable leadership? Together we have an opportunity to start a new era. Let us collaborate to build the South Africa we dream of,” says Professor Madonsela.

PJ Powers has recorded a new single titled ‘Take a Walk in My Shoes’ which she will be performing at this event. In addition to her award winning music career, PJ is also known for her anti-Apartheid activist role where she was given the name Thandeka (‘The Loved One’) during a performance in Soweto during the height of Apartheid.

She has also been the global ambassador for Khulisa over the past 18 months. PJ’s commitment to and belief in Khulisa Social Solutions has led her to invest a percentage of all her income to help further Khulisa’s social justice impact.

“I am campaigning for social justice and I hope you will too. Predominantly through a song that I will be releasing called ‘Take A Walk In My Shoes’ and we want you to come and take a walk in our shoes on Social Justice Day and the weeks surrounding it – let’s do this,” says PJ Powers.

In addition, the ‘Walk in My Shoes’ campaign seeks to establish an ongoing global movement of Social Justice Champions whereby it appeals to South Africans and non-South Africans who have a vested interest in South Africa, regardless of where they reside, to play their part. Those living outside of South Africa are encouraged to take part in activities set out by the campaign, engage in meaningful conversations with those around them about issues highlighted by this campaign, attend or organise events in their local area which support this campaign’s objectives and most importantly to realise that each and every one of them, as individuals, have an enormous untapped potential to effecting positive change for South Africa. This campaign aims to encourage active citizenry and show South Africans, regardless of their geographical location, that everyone ‘doing their bit’ will collectively lead to the Rainbow Nation dream we hope to achieve in this lifetime.

Khulisa and the Thuli Madonsela Foundation also call on local and international celebrities, artists, business leaders, commercial and consumer brands, and other influencers to use their social standing to champion this campaign. We are encouraging them to inspire and educate their followers about this campaign and in doing so, play a crucial role in fostering positive social inclusion.

“As a society, we need to ask ourselves what can we do to ensure that those living in poverty are given the tools to work their way out of their situations,” says Professor Madonsela.

Following the ‘Walk in My Shoes’ campaign launch, the partnership between Khulisa and the Thuli Madonsela Foundation will primarily focus on holistic education through Khulisa’s three phase process which will be rolled out nationally.

This process starts with storytelling, which is the key to unlock the traumas of youth at risk, the voices of the silenced and dispossessed communities, and the buried disappointments of marginalised youth and adults who have given up their right to dream of a just society.

The three elements of this process includes: The Daring to Dream Programme; the Building Our Future Together Programme; and the Dignity, Respect and Ownership programme. (See Annexure 2 for more information).

Through holistic educational empowerment of students, Khulisa and the Thuli Madonsela Foundation aim to remove barriers to social justice for our nation’s youth. With the valued and active engagement from the public and private sectors as well as the many NGO’s that feed into Khulisa’s programmes, this initiative aims to support these young people in becoming fully fledged, self-sustaining and active citizens, thereby providing them with the vital tools to remove themselves from poverty.

“The power of storytelling in our society can never be underestimated. It empowers, educates, entertains and most importantly it heals. Its ‘reach’ as a technique is extraordinary – all are touched, drawn in and invited to respond.”

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