We covered the HEAIDS Gender Based Violence Dialogue event at the Coastal College in Umlazi recently and wow, was it an eye opener. The idea behind these dialogues are part of the process HEAIDS is embarking on by consulting students on the ground. I was surprised by how full the hall was and also unpleasantly surprised by some of the student’s stories that they shared. The entrance to the hall was packed with vendors who were giving health screening tests, counseling and many useful stands with info to help all students fight the fight against GBV. After the singing of the national anthem the special dignitaries including Deputy Minister for Higher Education and Training, Mr Buti Kgwaridi Manamela, gave the students some valuable insight into the current situation concerning GBV and just how they were tackling the issue. This was followed by a play that was hard hitting and quite thought provoking put on by four extremely talented actors. Next up was the panel discussion where two students shared their horrific experiences before allowing time for the students in the audience to have their say and these students mostly had stories of how they have been effected by GBV which got the audience even more worked up. One point raised by a male student from another campus was that he had attended a similar event last year and still nothing had been done. His thoughts were that this was just another talk, talk, talk and no action seminar and judging from the disgruntled students and their cheers I am pretty sure that he was not alone in his thinking. I was impressed by the event and left feeling more informed but not entirely convinced that the appropriate action was going to be taken that would reduce the rate of GBV in our country. I hope that I am proved wrong.
What other corporate events do we cover, have a look here to get an idea.