South Africa: GENDER DRIVER OF CHANGE APPLICATION


Date: June 18, 2019
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Name Johannah
Surname Joshua
Country South Africa
Give a short history of the leader I was born in St Helena Bay 20 December 1959. One of 9 children. My father died when I was in grade 3. I was lost and without a father figure in my life, I never saw a loving couple who showed affection towards one another. I grew up with that emptiness in my life and couldn’t expressed myself when I am around people. I had no affection. I couldn’t hug people when they needed to be hugged, couldn’t tell my husband I love him and it made people think the worse of me. I became involved in the church when my husband became the pastor. I’ve pleaded with God to change me. It wasn’t easy because I didn’t want to allow God in the space which I locked away until I was confronted with a situation in the church. A young girl had an encounter with the Lord and I had to assist and council her. While dealing with her I was confronted with my own insecurity and past. I’ve arrange for an appointment with her for the next Tuesday in order for me to allow God to heal me. After our appointment I could feel the calling on my life to be of service to women in church and in the community to change people’s mind set and thinking about the role of women in the church and community. A counselling office were opened at the church and the community were welcome to make use of the office for counselling for free.
I became involved at the Western Cape Older Persons Forum and concentrated on the rights of Older Persons.
Objectives To contribute toward its vision for the world, to ensure that women’s rights; social, economic and environmental justice.
Key activities When my mother became ill, and neighbours didn’t bother to peep in or just come see how she was doing, I became aware how vulnerable older persons are. How lonely they can become, although her children were around her. I had the urge to do more, and not only for my mother, but for those whom the world wrote off as a life wasted.
• I became actively involved in visiting the sick, especially older persons.
• Doing shopping for those who don’t have anyone to send to the shop
• Collecting their chronic medication from the clinic
• Visiting older persons club and do a program
• Became a volunteer at an Old Age Home
• Served on the Board of the Western Cape Older Persons Forum
• Running a soup kitchen for the needy
The establishment of Ward Committees to see that any information pertaining Older Persons, especially ladies get to ground level.
Key challenges • The ignorance of people when it comes to women and their rights.
• The woman is still seen as just someone to raise children
• The distance between informal settlements with no public transport

Results

Change at the individual level My focus was first just on myself, my family and close friends. For years I was not interested in other people. When I surrender my life to the Lord, my eyes were opened to others needs and hurt. I had to first deal with my own hurt and disappointments before I could help others.
I got involved in my own community in 2005 while working directly with the elderly. With the local Forum, who gave me a mandate to be more involved at the local clinic where I could on a one on one chat to individuals.
Evidence of change at the individual level Michelle Jantjies Community Worker in Plettenberg Bay
“Mrs Joshua you are an inspiration of hope for me. Thank you for helping me through a very difficult time in my life. I thought nothing of myself, but know now that I am a woman of worth”.Thelma Mahoney – Resident at Benevolent Park Service Center
“Thank you for the impact you made in my life and assuring me of my value as a woman. The many times I could confide in you, and never heard that you have discuss it with anybody else.
Change at the household level I have 4 sisters and 4 brothers. We are not alike in the way of our way of living and behaving. I could persuade them by the programs I run and the talks I have at different organisations to get involve at their church. They look up to me and will always ask for help should they do a similar program.
Evidence of change at the household level Natalie Geswint – An abused woman from Cape Town
Johannah encouraged me to be a better me, to show the world who I am and make myself irreplaceable. You have only spoken truth and made me feel at home in your presence.
I am a broken woman from all the physical and emotional abuse and you gave me hope. I have tried so many times to commit suicide. I didn’t know that I have any rights, until I met you. Now I have reason to live and I feel loved.
Change at institutional level Nicole Joshua – daughter
My mom will do anything for any other woman. Her love for her passion rubs off. I am so proud that I can be called her daughter.

Edwin Joshua – husband
Johannah is the light of my life. To share her with people whom she has a passion for is only a pleasure. Her nature of love and giving of herself is what God do through her. To stand up for what is right is part of her. I’ve released her to live her passion for Older Persons and their human rights.

Special friend: Margaret Bhana
“Your special way you go around people and the confidence they have in you, I admire. You are indeed a people’s person and I’m grateful to call you my friend.

My immediate family:
As a volunteer they never could understand how I can give of myself without recognition or a salary. Whenever I have a program on human rights at a club or service center, I would always involve my kids to make little gifts to bless the woman with. It became second nature to them and my eagerness to help others rubbed off.

Evidence of change at institutional level Nicole Joshua – daughter
My mom will do anything for any other woman. Her love for her passion rubs off. I am so proud that I can be called her daughter.

Edwin Joshua – husband
Johannah is the light of my life. To share her with people whom she has a passion for is only a pleasure. Her nature of love and giving of herself is what God do through her. To stand up for what is right is part of her. I’ve released her to live her passion for Older Persons and their human rights.

Special friend: Margaret Bhana
“Your special way you go around people and the confidence they have in you, I admire. You are indeed a people’s person and I’m grateful to call you my friend.

My immediate family:
As a volunteer they never could understand how I can give of myself without recognition or a salary. Whenever I have a program on human rights at a club or service center, I would always involve my kids to make little gifts to bless the woman with. It became second nature to them and my eagerness to help others rubbed off.

Change at a policy level Since my involvement at the Western Cape Older Persons Forum, I became aware that its no longer I that matters, but there are people whose human rights are violated. Being involve on a permanent basis since 2005, I had the opportunity to invest my knowledge for change in the lives of men. Women were seen as someone who must look after children and to clean the house. The workshops I had about the role of women in the community were very positive. For older persons it was like wow, all these years I thought women had no brains.
Women started looking at them with a different view about themselves. Their self-worth were restored as the time went on. I organised a workshop on the Human Rights as a woman.
Evidence of change at a policy level Please find attach letter from Marlize Kotze, Social Worker from Department of Social Development.
Capacity building * Constitution of Western Cape Older Persons Forum plus all existing and Draft Policies
* Roles & Responsibilities of Board members
* Specific Roles of Office Bearers
* Amendment of Older Persons Act 13 of 2006
Lessons learned and shared Since my involvement at the Western Cape Older Persons Forum, I became aware that its no longer I that matters, but there are people whose human rights are violated. Being involve on a permanent basis since 2005, I had the opportunity to invest my knowledge for change in the lives of men. Women were seen as someone who must look after children and to clean the house. The workshops I had about the role of women in the community were very positive. For older persons it was like wow, all these years I thought women had no brains.
Women started looking at them with a different view about themselves. Their self-worth were restored as the time went on. I organised a workshop on the Human Rights as a woman.
Next Steps With all the experience I have gained over the passed years I would love to start a community based NGO that focus on Human Rights and empowerment of older persons. To work on a 5year plan for each ward in the municipality that will be round up in a holistick five year plan out of the vision of the South Africa Older Persons Forum. This NGO will be monitered and evaluated by the National Department of Social Development. The progress and growth will mainly be monitered.