From South Africa to South Korea: The Justice Desk Hits the Road
Last year, The Justice Desk formed a partnership with the Hope to the Future Association, which operates youth outreach programmes in South Korea including global citizenship education and volunteer activities. In December 2022, 10 beneficiaries and three staff from The Justice Desk travelled from South Africa to South Korea for an incredible human rights exchange programme with them. Both organisations share a vision and purpose for empowering young people to be human rights defenders and have partnered up in order to exchange ideas and learn from each other.
The Hope to the Future Foundation created plenty of opportunities for the 10 beneficiaries to learn about Korea, including a trip to a Korean international school where the girls got to spend the afternoon with some Korean students. They learned how education is done there and talked about the struggles that are faced in South Africa when it comes to the quality of education. The trip was a wonderful occasion for the exchanging of ideas and values and helped solidify a relationship between South Africa and Korea. The Justice Desk will be hosting 10 Korean students in the exchange to experience South Africa in August 2023.
Chief Executive Officer Jessica Dewhurst was then invited to speak at the 18th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. During the summit, Jessica presented a workshop on the work of The Justice Desk and their concept of Everyday Activism – empowering everyday people to become human rights defenders and changemakers. In attendance were activists, students, humanitarians, and lawyers from across the globe, with whom Jessica was able to engage in a hands-on manner and take on a journey through understanding the importance of grassroots activism and how the everyday person is vital towards its success. The girls were also able to speak at the Summit and talk about the impact The Justice Desk’s Mbokodo project has in their communities. They were also able to attend various panel discussions and workshops and learn more from the Nobel Laureates on how they can be incredible leaders in their communities.
Finally, the trip ended with a final engagement at the 2022 Mushroom Insight Event in Seoul, which is an international forum to reflect on the meaning and influence of BTS fandom. The theme of this forum was 'Finding Hope in the Fandom for a Better Future' and Jessica spoke on the effects of trauma and how Everyday Activists at The Justice Desk are determined to overcome it. The event was a lovely space to share unique experiences with academics, press, humanitarians and many others. Two of the Mbokodo Girls, Phumza and Azile, spoke at the event about the trauma they had each experienced living in South Africa as young survivors of violence. They spoke with courage and compassion as they helped those in the audience to understand that no matter your trauma, your life is worth living!
Visit The Justice Desk's website to learn more: https://www.justicedesk.org