AfrA Stories and Words: An African Women in Cape Town: 24 June 2017
The United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, says South Africa has 120,000 recognized refugees and one million asylum seekers with pending cases. Tina Ghelli, the UNHCR’s regional spokesperson for Southern Africa said “The biggest challenge in South Africa is the implementation of refugee’s rights. Sometimes they face discrimination when they access social services and often become targets of xenophobia. Many of them make strong contributions to the community and economy – but that is not recognized.”
On the 24 June 2017 AfrA Foundation as part of their Intergenerational Women’s programme: Stories and Words hosted, An African Woman In Cape Town. The day was aimed at sharing the experiences of women from outside South Africa who have had to make South Africa, and in particularly Cape Town, their home due to them seeking asylum or opportunities to further their studies or careers. It was an opportunity for African women to be heard and the event was attended by approximately 100 women from South Africa, Rwanda, Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The struggles these women experience are real and heart wrenching. The victories they experience are often bittersweet given the sacrifices they have had to make.
Emerging themes were that of:
The take home messages were:
- Freedom and safety are important.
- In order to achieve your goals, you have to make sacrifices that often strips away your ego, yet affords opportunities to grow in ways you could not have anticipated.
- Sometimes these sacrifices create space for you to develop new skills and promotes innovation.
- We, as South Africans, have to be more aware of the plight of foreigners and women in Cape Town.
Small group discussions at AfrA Stories and Words: An African Women in Cape Town