Hayi Laa! Zero Tolerance Village Alliance Awards Ceremony: We congratulate Hluvukani!
On March 5th 2016, the culmination of the Hayi Laa! Project, which addressed both illegal wildlife as well as social crimes through a series of workshops, was celebrated at the Zero Tolerance Village Alliance Awards Ceremony. The ceremony, held at a primary school in Hluvukani, was attended by community members including the village headmen, who were the first community members to take the pledge of “Zero Tolerance for Social and Wildlife Crimes”. Other community members then followed suit.
The ceremony was also attended by representatives from our partner organization TVEP, as well as from our donor, the British High Commission, represented by Wendy Abadi, who paid tribute to the project on behalf of the British High Commissioner, Dame Judith Macgregor.
5 March 2016
I write to send you and the entire Hluvukani community, all my best wishes for today’s oath-taking ceremony. I hoped to be with you in person on this special day today to commemorate the partnership between the British High Commission, Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme and the people of Hluvukani Village.
This innovative project is intended to empower the people of Hluvukani Village to identify and eradicate social and wildlife crimes and I am delighted that more than 500 people have learned how wildlife crime, as well as sexual- and gender-based violence, harms the entire community. By working together to tackle these challenges, you are helping to secure a more stable and prosperous future for your community. Your work and dedication to stop these crimes will help inspire other communities across South Africa and the region.
I commend everyone who is taking an oath today, and I hope this is a moment which the community will remember with pride, because today is the day when the people of Hluvukani say, together, “Hayi Laa!”
With best wishes
Dame Judith Macgregor
Entertainment was provided by local learners, who showed off their dancing skills and creativity.
An absolute highlight was the fly past by the Bataleurs who also gave three community members the chance to fly for the first time in their lives and who came back with very big eyes!! A HUGE thank you to the pilots who gave up their time and to the organization for this wonderful spectacle.
The ceremony marks the end of this project which has empowered 629 people who each attended a 5 day workshop addressing issues around sexual and gender based violence as well as wildlife crime, both of which are generally not understood to be crimes and which are under reported. As a direct result of the Hayi Laa! Project, the Stakeholder Forum has taken ownership of issues in Hluvukani. Thanks to the pressure they brought to bear, their local SAPS satellite police station is now open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week rather than the 2-3 hours a day it had been operating for prior to the commencement of the project. A really important outcome of the project – the Stakeholder Forum- is taking ownership and action on problems in the community which is how sustainability happens.
The village of Hluvukani now has signage in the village proclaiming it as a proud