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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

SHiNE promotes human rights


25 Oct 2022

Schools and teachers from Lansdowne, Mitchell’s Plain and surrounding areas recently attended the launch of the Social Harmony National Effort (SHiNE) project of the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) at the Al Ihklaas Academia Library in Lansdowne.

The project is in line with the SAHRC’s mandate to promote respect for human rights in the country.

“The SAHRC was established in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in 1996 as a state institution supporting constitutional democracy and therefore it derives its mandate from the Constitution,” says Omar Suleman, library manager and activist.

Functions of the commission as set out in the Constitution include:1) To promote respect for human rights and culture of human rights.

(2) To promote the protection, development and attainment of human rights; and

(3) To monitor the observance of human rights in the Republic of South Africa.

“After the July 2021 unrest in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng, the Commission felt compelled to reflect and develop strategies to be employed to create more solidarity between people of different classes and races, and tackle head-on the issue of the concept of a nation united in diversity. While government has been running a social cohesion programme through the department of sport, arts and culture, this top-down approach has not proved to be significantly shifting of people’s attitudes and the country has arguably regressed in this respect and is more polarised now than during the Mandela era,” he says.

The SHiNE project is aimed at a bottom-up approach to enjoin all South Africans towards small but significant changes. It is aimed at crafting a new culture among the races and classes who live in close proximity to one another, and to create an environment where social interaction is encouraged, solidarity is cultivated, and human beings relate to each other with more respect and understanding.

“In this regard, the Commission in the Western Cape, working in collaboration with the Academia Library, extended invitation to learners from various schools to be part of the launch of the SHiNE project, which was streamed live from Pretoria into all provinces. It is envisaged that the participation of these learners will empower and capacitate them to be ambassadors of change at their schools and in their respective communities.

“Besides learners and teachers from Modderdam High, Matthew Goniwe Secondary in Khayelitsha, The Leadership College and Darul Islam High, religious bodies and trade unions attended. It was an honour to host the launch at the Academia Library,” Suleman says.

He says the Academia Library is a site for intellectual stimulation and is a “library for all”.

“At the library knowledge and technology intersect to create a social space that fosters creativity and learning. Based inside the Academia complex at Islamia College, the facility is strategically located and easily accessible by surrounding schools, academic institutions and the general public, making it a library for all.

“Academia Library opens its doors for learning to everyone regardless of religion, creed, culture or gender. Being a library for all we once more invite the public to come in and become a member, gain access to our computers for research or just come and read a book or engage with our staff for any recommendations,” Suleman says.V Call the library on 021 300 5572 or WhatsApp Suleman on 067 279 4387.

Surce: News24

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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