Carol Prins – South Africa

Carol Prins – South Africa

Date: July 1, 2015
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I am married to Danial Prins, and we live in Mosselbay in the Western Cape, where I am a counsellor at a Community development centre. We also run the Fairview Ministries which is a church ministry within the community of Mosselbay.

Our first encounter with Gender Links was very funny and also one that Daniel and I will not really forget. We got an invitation to attend the workshop from Alma Kritzinger who is the Gender Co-ordinator at Mosselbay Municipality. Daniel was representing SAPS and I was representing the Community Development Centre where I am a counsellor. These entities are both external key stakeholder partners of the Municipality. We got to the venue of the workshop and I thought goodness, this will be three days of a workshop, but I was happy that my husband was with me, I wanted to sit next to him all the time.

Daniel also wanted to sit next to me and some of his colleagues from SAPS who had attended the workshop too, but Ntombi who was the facilitator sensed that this could actually hinder our interaction with the others in the group and encouraged Daniel and I to sit apart from each other. I kept telling Ntombi in Afrikaans “Daniel is my leier” – Daniel is my leader. She gave me a smile that basically said “It is ok, but in the workshop you need to be on your own and interact with others”. So Daniel and I moved from each other, but that was the beginning of an interesting journey for the two of us.

We are both people who are very dedicated to helping those who are disadvantaged within our community. And when we got an invitation to attend the Gender Mainstreaming workshop we saw this as a chance to learn more about how gender issues are also part of the work that we do in our communities.

The Church has a very important role to play when it comes to gender issues. The sad thing is that these issues are often swept under the carpet. Women are not seen as leaders and change makers, and there is also a gap with addressing issues of GBV. The church is a very powerful institution, and we will make sure that we address gender issues within our Ministry and create a safe space for people to talk freely about these problems.

We are both very grateful to Gender Links for hosting the workshop, and would like to strengthen the relationship even further we have formed a very close personal relationship with Ntombi as well from GL. The encounter with GL has also helped us realise that it is very important as different stakeholders to come together, in a good manner to address issues of GBV. There is power in numbers and every little bit helps and goes a very long way indeed.



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