To ensure that our clients are informed, it is important for them to know their rights as well as understand court and other legal processes. We achieve this by consistently engaging and updating our clients on their cases, as well as providing training on rights and legal processes.
Unfortunately, people are often victimised for standing up for their legal rights, a few even paying the ultimate price with their lives.
We therefore support our clients in ways that legal processes can’t by providing trauma counselling and facilitating access to physical and other security measures with the help of other organisations. This has become an integral part of ALL RISE’s services.
Our clients frequently have to deal with coercion, and threats and acts of violence in response to their opposition to developments. We arrange trauma counselling and support for all those who request it.
“Being witness to the injustices in northern KZN was the turning point for us, and where our law careers became passion. We realised the positive impact we could have on thousands of people who don’t have access to the information or support they need to advocate for their own rights. And that we could play the role of educators, justice-fighters and allies. Combining our environmental and human rights activism with the law has made us even more committed to our profession. We will continue to fight on behalf of those who can’t. And we will bring about the changes that we want to see. Both for people and for the planet.“ Kirsten Youens, ALL RISE Founder, Director and Attorney.
“Before the counselling in Ophondweni, I was emotionally traumatised and abused by Tendele mine representatives that are constantly wanting to relocate or remove me from my home and my land. After the counselling I received, everything has been well. Everyone at home is at peace because I am also at peace. I used to shout at the kids for nothing because of stress. “
“Before the counselling, I was afraid to go outdoors at night. Now my spirits have been lifted and I am in a better spiritual state. “
“All of us who are directly affected by the mine felt that we are not safe. The mine is constantly threatening to move us. Since the counselling sessions started, I am relieved and free. Even health-wise I am feeling healthy with the kids. I am thankful for our lawyers who are handling our case. Without them I do not know how far we would have been by now. “Siyaphambili noMeli wethu” (meaning we are going forward with our lawyers). “
“Though I was not here at the beginning of the counselling sessions, I could see and feel from my wife that there is healing in her. That is why I also came on the last days and the guidance I received has helped me too. I am grateful and very thankful. “
“I have been living like a Nyamazane (cornered wild animal) in my house, having sleepless nights and sicknesses. The counselling has helped me a lot. Now I sleep like a baby. To know that there is a strong lawyer who is working with us, gives me confidence and I have less fears.
Although there is merit in learning from experience as the legal processes unfold, there is enormous value in providing training to expedite the imparting of knowledge and empowerment of communities.
Through training, ALL RISE is also able to have a much wider reach than just its immediate clients and people are able to take back to their communities this knowledge that they gain and put it into effect. Even more powerful is when training is provided in people’s mother tongue.
ALL RISE also believes it is important to develop resources such as training methodologies and materials that can be freely used by other organisations and communities thus, empowering even more people indirectly.
Although in its infancy, we believe that ALL RISE’s training programme will grow as ALL RISE grows and ultimately we would like to develop this into a fully fledged programme with a dedicated team of training facilitators.
Our pilot project, developing an EIA guideline in isiZulu is in progress and in collaboration with IAIAsa.
“We would like to congratulate the team of facilitators for their dedication, time, and effort into making the workshop a success. We did not feel like we met for the first time, it felt like we all met before in the other planet/ earth. The community also engaged so well with the team.”
“I have learnt that this law protects me and Nature. What we have learnt in this training about EIA it has been a great help, we supposed to be reminded about laws all the time and make sure that all the project that comes they followed the law. We come from different communities that experienced different challenges, we shall take everything that we have learnt here to implement in our community.”
“Thank you very much for bringing dignity to our language, the community feels happy to get training in their language and protecting nature being teached in our language.”
“I have gained a very important knowledge that we need in our lives that we need. To know my right and knowledge of knowing where I can send my complains if need to. I wish to learn about the important laws that I shall follow if I want to start a business in the community. My suggestion I wish the opportunities like this can grow and be done once a month or every after two months.”
Get in touch with us if you would have the skills and would like to be a pro bono isiZulu educator or facilitator for future workshops with our clients!