Lawtons Africa - Making a Difference in Society. Shaping Social Justice and Empowerment
Author: Sarah Goldman– Head of Pro Bono and Citizenship
Lawtons Africa, under the leadership and vision of Sarah Goldman, is committed to community betterment and the legal empowerment of communities and individuals. Through our outreach initiatives, we strive to bring about meaningful change and create a more equitable society.
In this article, we highlight some of our notable projects that have made a difference in the first half of 2023.
World Social Justice Day: Empowering the Homeless through Poetry
World Social Justice Day, also known as International Day of Social Justice, is observed annually on 20 February. On this day, individuals, corporates, and government are encouraged to engage in advocacy to lay the foundation for a more inclusive society built on equality, non-racialism, and non-sexism.
On World Social Justice Day 2023, we joined hands with the New Beginnings Foundation, a shelter for the homeless in Boksburg. We presented on the importance of social justice and facilitated a poetry-writing workshop for the shelter residents to help them share their personal experiences and hopes through poetry. The project fostered an awareness of community, empathy, and social change within the shelter.
If you would like to assist the shelter residents or its community feeding scheme, please contact New Beginnings Foundation on 011 892 2624.
We thank team members Winnie Masilela, Lethabo Madumo and Kgopotso Moloisi, for sharing their social justice poetry and encouraging shelter residents to do the same.
Freedom Day: Promoting Voter Education in Alexandra
Freedom Day celebrates the first democratic elections held in South Africa from 26 April to 29 April 1994. This historical event signalled the emergence of a new South Africa, where South Africans of all races participated side by side in the first truly national election.
Every year on 27 April, we remember the rise of equality and the birth of our democratic dispensation.
On Freedom Day 2023, we visited M.C. Weiler Primary School in the township of Alexandra, Johannesburg. Led by SJ Thema, Sipho Mtsweni, Shannen Etter, Andile Mphale, Kgopotso Moloisi, Shurayh Hassim and Thomas Anderson, this event inspired learners to become future leaders!
Learners participated in a voter education programme and mock election, complete with exciting campaigning guided by the rules of the Independent Electoral Commission. By engaging with young minds and fostering an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as future leaders and voters, learners were actively empowered to shape our communities and nation.
LifeLine Legal Education Partnership: Equipping Social Workers with Legal Knowledge
LifeLine is a crisis counselling non-profit organisation that operates throughout South Africa. It assists and supports survivors of gender-based violence, domestic abuse and also offers HIV/Aids counselling services.
Sarah Goldman, assisted by other Lawtons Africa legal experts, designed a programme and facilitated training to provide social workers and counsellors with vital legal knowledge. Equipped with a better understanding of the law, we empower counsellors to be in a better position to provide more informed and effective support to survivors of abuse.
The Lawtons Africa training and education initiative and project started by Sarah at the LifeLine South Africa Head Office is a powerful aid to the counsellors and will now be rolled out to assist LifeLine social workers nationwide.
This project aims to bridge the gap between essential legal knowledge and frontline social counselling work, ultimately leading to improved access to justice for vulnerable individuals.
Property Empowerment Workshop: Enhancing Community Understanding of Property Rights
Many South Africans do not understand their property rights, leaving them open to exploitation and victimisation.
Lawtons Africa conducted intensive legal empowerment “property rights” workshops in Kliptown and Eldorado Park. The workshops focused on property-related matters, such as learning how to read and understand lease agreements and title deeds, and deal with property ownership disputes and illegal evictions. The workshops are carried out in partnership with P.U.S.H (Persevere Until Something Happens), a social upliftment non-profit organisation committed to bettering the greater Eldorado Park region. The Lawtons Africa team on this initiative is led by Sarah Goldman and Kgopotso Moloisi.
Youth Leadership Summit: Upskilling Young Entrepreneurs
Every year on 16 June, South Africa celebrates Youth Day. On this day, we recognise the commitment to transformation and equality displayed during the Soweto uprising on 16 June 1976 and acknowledge the inherent greatness and potential of the youth today.
In honour of Youth Day, Lawtons Africa collaborated with Believers Care Society, a public benefit organisation dedicated to the youth and their development. Together with officials from the Department of Labour, we introduced young entrepreneurs to company law at the annual Youth Leadership Summit. Facilitated by Andile Mphale and Nicholas De Decker, we focused on the intricacies of company registration, industry-specific legal compliance, and tax implications. The enthusiasm in the room was truly inspiring, and we are in awe of the future generation of young entrepreneurs who will contribute to the growth and prosperity of South Africa.
Lawtons Africa is a South African law firm. With roots that grew out of seeds sown in down-town Johannesburg in 1892, our history features various changes and different names. Our team of lawyers, including directors, consultants, associates and candidate attorneys is highly qualified, market-recognised and skilled. For further information, visit www.lawtonsafrica.com