Reflections from Indigenous Fellows Ivan and Yvette
Natural Justice’s Cape Town office held its monthly Skills and Information Sharing Session on 25 April 2016. At this session the Cape Town office’s two indigenous fellows, Ivan Vaalbooi and Yvette le Fleur, shared their reflections with the team about their learning at the Open Society’s Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) Marginalisation and Inequalities Course, which they attended in Johannesburg from 2 to 15 April.
This course aimed at providing knowledge around marginalisation and inequalities in Southern Africa, as well as the skills to use the knowledge gained when working with marginalised communities and inequalities in society. The knowledge is also useful in influencing policies and laws. It is said that inequality in Southern Africa is amongst the highest in the world. This course identified domains in which these inequalities, marginalisation and social exclusion manifest itself in this region. These domains are ethnicity, race, class and nationality, gender, people with disabilities, youth and identity, as well as indigenous peoples. It also looked at how marginalisation and inequalities could be addressed through social policy for the development of Southern Africa that has respect for the human rights of marginalised peoples under the domains of exclusion and inequalities mentioned above. The course brought a wide array of indigenous peoples, activists, academics and experts alike together in this discussion.
The knowledge gained at this course is important for Natural Justice as its work is focused on such marginalised indigenous and local communities in Southern Africa impacted by their human, environmental and related resource rights.
OSISA supports both Yvette and Ivan’s fellowship with Natural Justice for a period of one year. Yvette is a youth from the Griqua Khoisan community, West Coast of the Western Cape. Ivan is from the Khomani San community in the Kalahari, Northern Cape. They appreciated understanding how policy can be influenced to address the concerns many of their communities continue to face within South Africa’s period of continued decolonisation in post colonial and apartheid South Africa. Natural Justice wishes to congratulate OSISA on running a very successful workshop and for their continued support of Southern Africa’s most marginalized communities, in particular their Indigenous Rights Programme .
Yvette and Ivan is looking forward to incorporate these learnings in their current work around land restitution, access and benefit sharing and related intellectual property rights work in both South Africa and Namibia.