On 6 July 2017, the Centre for Human Rights hosted 5 beneficiaries and graduates (Jafta Bonginkosi, Shadrack Munyai, Xolilie Myeni, Miranda Mbonambi and Lisebo Kotelo) of the JB Marks Educational Trust Fund at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria.

The JB Marks Education Trust Fund was established by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in 1997 to address the need to empower NUM members and their children or dependents particularly those graduates entering the mining and construction sector. The vision and mission of the trust focuses on funding the beneficiaries of NUM members but the scope and reach of the Trust has evolved and grown with changing times over the past 20 years.

Their visit to the Centre for Human Rights is part of a weeklong exit workshop organised by the Trust Fund. The exit workshop is intended to prepare the graduates for the life of work.

During the course of their visit, the beneficiaries and graduates of the JB Marks Education Trust Fund were given an insight into the workings of the Centre for Human Rights, both as an NGO and as an academic department within the University of Pretoria. The beneficiaries and graduates were given an opportunity to interact with Mr Geoffrey Ogwaro (Programme Manager, SOGIE Unit), Ms Innocentia Mgijima (Programme Manager, Disability Rights Unit); Ms Patience Mungwari (Programme Manager, Women’s Rights Unit); Dr Olalade Shyllon (Programme Manager, Freedom of Expression and Access to Information Unit), Dr Ashwanee Budoo (Programme Manager, Master’s degree in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa programme) and Mr Josua Loots (Programme Manager, Business and Human Rights Unit).

The one-on-one sessions provided the beneficiaries an opportunity to ask critical questions relating to career growth in the fields of human rights law and human rights advocacy. Lisebo Kotelo from the University of Lesotho, constantly posed the question ‘How can we as graduates get involved in the work of the Centre for Human Rights seeing that, for example, Lesotho is plagued with so many human rights violations?’

It is such questions that young leaders of Africa need to ask in order to better the state of affairs on the continent. As an organisation dedicated to the training of a new generation of young African leaders and professionals in the field of human rights, we appreciate the importance of encouraging and inspiring young people to attain their highest goals and surpass their abilities.

Mr Josua Loots thanked the graduates for visiting the Centre for Human Rights and wished the graduates success in their future endeavours. The afternoon concluded with a light lunch and taking of pictures.




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