BWR224: Service learning activities in the community

Altogether 52 students partook in community service learning and these students were divided into six different groups.

Group 1: Project - Awareness raising about the dangers of texting whilst driving and the inherent risks involved

The activities included a practical driving test in conjunction with a local driving school. The purpose of the project was to inform UFS students of the inherent dangers of texting and driving and the legal implications of such unlawful action. The group also recorded the practical driving test which illustrated the reaction and driving ability of a driver under normal circumstances compared to the reaction and driving ability of a driver who is contravening the law by driving whilst texting on a cell phone.
Another activity of the group included the design of a pamphlet to promote education regarding the hazards of texting whilst driving. The group further conducted a survey using 50 student participants to ascertain the general impression regarding the legal implications of texting whilst driving. Part of the preparation included a consultation with the head of Pick n Pay's Road Safety Campaign.

Group 2: Project - Child Justice in South Africa

This group consisted of 9 members. The aim of the project was awareness raising regarding the newly enacted Child Justice Act and how criminal procedure is adapted to deal with juvenile offenders specifically. The further focus of this project was to address ancillary aspects of the Child Justice Act, such as a child's right to legal representation; the minimum age of criminal capacity and the constitutional presumption of innocence. The group held various planning sessions and consultation sessions with service sector providers, specifically the Child Justice Centre, including the Magistrates and Social Workers involved at the Centre. The group then devised a play which is to be presented to children in conflict with the law. The play will illustrate the processes of arrest; detention and the criminal trial process.

Group 3: Project - Contractual obligations, responsibilities and rights when entering into a binding contract and how crime can be prevented in student houses

This group consisted of 8 group members. The students planned an awareness raising campaign regarding the problems which students experience when entering into legally binding contracts as well as a second campaign regarding the prevention of crime in student houses/ residences. This group conducted an interview with a member of the SAPS regarding the most prominent offences committed and reported in student houses. This project is specifically aimed to raise awareness amongst students who are responsible for entering into lease agreements and those who use private accommodation. As part of the preparation phase of this project (to be completed in 2013) was the design of an information leaflet, and research into relevant legislation such as the Rental Housing Act, 50 of 1999.

Group 4: Project - Access to free legal services and general career opportunities in Law

A group of 10 students visited a local High School in a project, namely the Vulamasango High School Community Service Project. The students engaged with a group of senior learners at the school and presented a general discussion on legal rights, especially pertaining to free legal services and how to exercise this constitutionally guaranteed right. The students also facilitated a general discussion on career opportunities in law.

Group 5: Project - Children's rights and how to report abuse or neglect

This project was conducted with only one student. The student pre-planned the project and merely adjusted the outcomes to suit service learning in BWR224. The student identified a local orphanage ("Huis van Omgee") housing children from various ages. The presentation was based on children's rights and the process to report abuse and/or neglect. The interactive presentation consisted of activities, a powerpoint presentation and information dissemination.

Description: Service Learning Keywords: Faculty of Law, service learning, Huis Omgee, children rights, orphanage, abuse, neglect

Group 6: Project - Access to justice awareness-raising and fundraising

16 students formed part of the group which was responsible for planning the project. The students had to devise and design a pamphlet with the information which will form the basis of the project and had to secure letters of support from various stakeholders. The students also assisted with the general planning and execution of the initial activities for the project.

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