Press statement. For immediate release.

Kaleidoscope Youth Network and University of Johannesburg host successful Gauteng Regional Lekgotla

Written by Thuli Mathabela, Auxiliary National Vice Convenor                                                         11 July 2012

Kaleidoscope Youth Network held its second Regional Lekgotla at University Of Johannesburg, Kingsway Campus from the 5th to the 8th of July. The member societies that were present included UJ Liberati (University of Johannesburg), Activate (Wits), Pillars of Consciousness (Central Johannesburg College), Flamboyant (Tshwane University of Technology), UP and OUT (University of Pretoria), POUT ( North West University) and OUT n Proud (NWU,Mafikeng Campus).The societies came together under the topic "History of LGBT and the Media".
 
The aim of the Regional Lekgotla is to get organisations within the regions acquainted with each other so that collaboration and solidarity may grow in the region. It was also implemented with the hope of transferring and sharing skillsets in campaign building and documenting hate crimes.
 
A UJ representative, Mr Godfrey Helani welcomed the Network and its youth leaders on the first day of the process. He emphasised the fact that South Africa has a challenge where people are discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation. In his speech, he stated that "we are happy to have a national organisation that is willing and able to tackle these challenges. UJ pledges support because we understand the need for human rights; we promote the understanding of harmony and the fact that the LGBTIA community does not owe anybody an explanation as to why their sexual orientation is different"
 
Campaign Development was one of the focus of the Lekgotla and was facilitated by Anzio Jacobs, the National Convenor of the Network. Tish White, National Vice Convenor focused on Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, whereas Gabriel Khan from Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action facilitated outside exercises and educated the delegates on the history of LGBTIA and important individuals that surfaced the path for activism. Delegates were also taught how to report hate crimes to the Hate Crimes Working Group.
 
In addition to the campaigns developed by each society, the "It Gets Better Campaign" was recorded and the Network managed to compose an anthem that could possibly be sung at all Pride Marches.

The outcomes of the Regional Lekgotla will be seen through the extensive planning that went into campaign building, the implementation of a hate crimes documentation system and the bonds forged through team-building. It is the hope of the Network that in the immense challenges faced in the rise in hate crimes, and structures and services reinforced by heterosexism and patriarchy, that delegates will use their skills and regional networking bonds to overcome common challenges and strengthen the capacity of the sector.

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