Service Learning Project at Huis Soetehoop

We decided that we were going to think like children. This way we would approach the project in a manner that the children would understand and find entertaining to watch. Rather than simply putting the theory in front of them it would be of more value for them to see the application of the concepts, we gave the information in a story form making use of a narrator to highlight the key concepts.

We wanted the children to be able to relate to the story so that they could see how it applied to their own situation and not just simply be an interesting exposition of the law of evidence. To do this we needed to work within the realm of their experiences. The obvious choice was abuse. It would be counter-productive to cause distress to any one of the children but we needed to touch on a topic that would find application to each child’s situation. Being aware that a number of the kids were sexually abused we decided to stick to the theme of assault but for the sake of sensitivity we chose the subcategory of physical assault rather than sexual assault. After deciding to use a story format and selecting a theme we needed to decide on a set of facts to make use of.

Students reflect on their experience

The community project has influenced me greatly in becoming more tactful towards other people and as chairman of evidentia lege I’ve taught myself self discipline and the self control over my fellow members I appreciate all the work the group put in the project.
The first time I met the children, I couldn’t believe the circumstances they live under and that they were happy in the context when we arrived there they were cautious and it came to mind that I would never like to be like that and I know I’ve got the capabilities to change their lives and will stay on keeping up contact and the keep those who live there happier, As for the making the project I loved the snow-white idea and made it our own to influence the children, to the best of our capabilities.
I’m glad that I did make a influence and they asked why certain things are punished differently they impacted my life and will stay with me forever thanks to the staff for electing me to do
this momentous opportunity in my life.

The community project was an experience that allowed myself to come into contact with people whom the law affected. In the sense that for the first time we worked with individuals that were assisted by the law, which is the purpose of a legal system. It is to protect the individual and his/ her rights from being violated. This project was a practical experience to that statement. We were also able to exercise our knowledge of the law by teaching these vulnerable kids about their rights and the law. It also taught us new skills as we had to be able to. This community service project was an enriching experience as it broadened our perspectives.

Leticia van Greunen:
The project was an amazing experience. A person always thinks that they are in the worst situation, until your eyes are opened to the world. These children have been through so much, but they stay strong. The children need people in their lives that will be a positive influence to them and I intend of spending more time with these children. The children are an inspiration to me.

I was heartbroken to see children being isolated and afraid to even go out to town.
To see them, gave me reason not give up on life. I was glad to be able to make a difference in their lives and would to do it again.

I came to the realisation that abuse under young children, especially boys, is a much bigger problem than we know of. Through this I had the opportunity not only to learn more about these children and their plight also saw that one does not have to be qualified, but even as a student I can make a difference in these children's lives. I have been back to visit with the boys and intend to do so in future through- out my studies and hopefully can reach out and touch their lives. 

The task helped me see how fair and just our law and Constitution is and that it has our best interests at heart.

Tzundzuka Matiebula:
Without proper evaluation, love and caring children can become rebellious. They will not obey a person who doesn’t treat them with proper care or doesn’t listen to them. Children need a loving and caring environment for them to be well mannered.

The project helped me to understand the practical aspects of the law of evidence better and how even at this stage we can begin to make a difference in the community by applying what we have learnt.

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