South Africa: #NoMeansNo! Gender-based Violence Prevention

The Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention Programme (GIZ-VCP) in cooperation with Masifunde
Learner Development presents:
#NoMeansNo! “Gender-based Violence Prevention Campaign”

The #NoMeansNo! Gender-based Violence Prevention Campaign is a
project of the Youth for Safer Communities programme (YSC) in the
Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.
YSC is a joint initiative of the NGO, Masifunde Learner Development, and
the GIZ-Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention Programme. The
project, established since 2012, aims to motivate young people to play an
active role in enhancing safety in their schools and communities by
activating them through interactive workshops facilitated by current or
former learners. During the workshops, learners discuss their perceptions
of safety in their schools and school surroundings, map “hotspots” –
places where they feel safe or unsafe – and carry out a visioning exercise,
brainstorm on the potential every learner individually has to act as a so
called “Local Hero of Safety”, who makes their direct school- or socialenvironment a better and safer place to be. YSC workshops have been
carried out in some 35 schools across the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, reaching annually more than 2.000 learners,
in total so far over 8.000 learners.

Following the workshops, learners can volunteer to take part in drama groups, debate clubs and empowerment peerto-peer helping groups in their schools. About 300 learners from 26 schools around Port Elizabeth in the Eastern
Cape Province are actively involved in these projects.GIZ-VCP is funding the project and providing technical support.
Each year since the start of the project, about 120 learners nominated by their
peers during the workshops meet at the YSC Summit to discuss safety issues
in their communities and decide on one specific topic for a Metro-wide
campaign for the next year.
During the YSC Summit in 2016, the learners identified gender-based violence
as a major issue they are facing on a daily basis. They then decided on running
a campaign against gender-based violence in 2017 to promote positive
masculinity in boys and assertiveness in girls utilising the three pillars of the
YSC project: public debates, peer-to-peer empowerment and drama plays.
They gave the campaign the tagline #NoMeansNo!
The campaign was officially launched at the YSC Freedom Day Event on the
27th of April 2017. The youth produced a video clip which was shown at the launch and has from then on been used
to engage with their peers on the topic and has formed an important component for the whole campaign.
Through various activities and events, the campaign was implemented in 28 schools, reaching over 2000 learners
across Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
The campaign’s approach: The approach focuses mainly in building the capacities of the local heroes who in turn
reach out to their peers through different mediums such as; events, campaigns, workshops and presentations
utilizing the video clip and the posters they have produced.

The “local heroes” who are active in the YSC Empowerment Group can be seen as the heart of the whole campaign.
After participating in all the different training measures, they went back to their schools and presented to their
schools’ management. In addition to their activities, most of them have organised knowledge transfer sessions for
Grade 9 and 10 learners in their respective schools. They have further linked up with the drama and debate groups
to influence the themes for their drama and debate performances.
The campaign activities:

1. Trainings:
The topic of gender-based violence was treated from different angles. The
participants of the different training activities were mainly the local heroes of the
YSC empowerment group. Following the trainings, the youth implemented GBV
prevention activities in their schools, such as campaigns, dramas and debate
2016: Training on Sexuality and Gender: YSC learners and facilitators were
trained on the “Talking Taboos on Sexuality and Gender” manual (produced by
the University of Cape Town’s Gender Health and Justice Research Unit) to
ensure that they have a solid understanding of how gender stereotyping and the
sexual objectification of women, especially in the media, contributes to the high
rate of sexual offences and domestic violence.
The following trainings took place in 2017:
Topic: Gender-based Violence Training: Gender, sexuality and gender-based violence
Facilitated by the Umhlali Early Intervention Project
Number of Attendees: 8
Topic: Alternatives to Violence Project: Basic Training Workshop (learn
about ways to solve conflict and build healthy relationships; Affirmation;
Listening; Communication; Stereotypes; Team work; Cooperation; Working with
defensiveness and blaming; and Leadership)
Facilitated by trained AVP facilitators
Number of Attendees: 8
Topic: Active Youth Basic Training: The workshop was based on
understanding the community and school setting for intervention and
Facilitated by: Masifunde Learner Development
Number of Attendees: 14
Topic: Rape and Sexual assault training: Training on rape, myths of sexual
assault and understanding stereotypes on gender and violence)
Facilitated by: Nelson Mandela University Psychology Department
Number of Attendees: 14
Topic: One Man Can (masculinity) Training Programme: Facilitating
change in communities and personal growth through gender values clarification,
Theme – Gender Power and Health, Gender/Violence, HIV/AIDS. This training
also included holistic social activism and taking ownership of interventions as
young people in communities.
Facilitated by: Sonke Gender Justice
Number of attendees: 17


2. Events
The campaign was showcased in the following
50 Youth for Safer Communities Safety
Workshops with grade 10 learners took place in
18 schools in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro: GBV
was discussed with the learners as one of the key
safety issues in in their schools.
YSC Freedom Day in April 2017. Launch of the
#NoMeansNo! – Campaign”: Viewing of the
campaign video, followed by a panel discussion with
YSC learners and experts and drama presentations
of 3 schools on learners’ experiences with GBV.
Ulutsha Street Festival (16 June 2017): Slogan:
“Report cases of violence against women and
children!” This is an annual open street festival
organised by civil society organisations in Walmer
Township for children and youth to take back
ownership of their streets and parks. Activities: A
hand pledge with the main slogan, a Mob Fashion
Show against gender-based violence, a drama
presentation on children’s rights and mixed
basketball and netball matches, to promote for the
rights of the LBGTI community.
Nelson Mandela Bay Safer School Network
meeting: The YSC Local Heroes from two schools
presented their GBV campaign activities to the
platform, which is mainly attended by the school
management teams in the schools were YSC is being
implemented and other key stakeholders.
YSC Summit 2017: YSC Local Heroes presented
their campaign activities to their peers and discussed
the role of learners in fighting GBV in schools.
OASIS- Organizing After-School and In-School
Symposium: YSC presented their campaign material
to schools, NGOs and various stakeholders of the
Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
Themba’s Dream at Port Elizabeth Opera House:
YSC drama groups from 9 schools performed their
plays in the field of GBV. Each play was a creative
exploration by the YSC Local Heroes of the many
forms that gender-based violence manifests within
their communities.
The plays were intended to encourage the learners to
freely reflect on the magnitude of the issue as they
personally experience and encounter it in their


Impact and Results:
After being part of the campaign and attending all different activities, the participants could better understand the
different dimensions of gender-based violence and gender equality. . They have further been activated and are
taking action by being part of the campaign and educating and advising their peers.
The campaign has not only impacted positively on the 16 Local Heroes from the YSC Empowerment group from 10
schools, but they also received feedback from their peers, who are now also ready to take action against GBV in
their schools. More learners want to join the YSC Empowerment group and want to participate in the activities of
this group. The educators in the schools also found an attractive way of engaging learners on the GBV topic during
the life skills lessons.
In the long-term, the hope is to see youth growing up being informed and educated about gender and GBV issues
and changing the way they approach and view the other gender.

Gender as a quality feature of our work in VCP
As already mentioned under context, there is a great need in South Africa for more work in the field of GBV
prevention. Our partners are well aware of the problem and are grateful for all activities initiated in this regard.
The partner organisation, Masifunde Learner Development, has gained a lot of new knowledge, which has led to
enhanced gender mainstreaming within the organisation. Gender-based violence is now an important topic which is
fully considered in most of the different activities of the organisation.

Gender and RBM
This activity speaks to the following output of the Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention Programme: “Youth
focused approaches for community safety and violence prevention are strengthened”
Contributing to the two VCP indicators:
D1: Young participants in training measures can provide convincing examples of how they have actively
contributed to improvements in the safety of their communities. Of these 50% are women.
C1: Based on two examples each year, it can be demonstrated that cooperation has improved between the
civil society organizations themselves, and/or between state and civil society actors.
The activity is part of the work package “NMB School Safety Network” and is therefore an integral part of the M&E
system and systematically recorded in regular evaluation reports. The results are documented at least every 2
months in the activity monitoring worksheets of the work package, and the overall plan of operations of the

The project is cooperating with the following partners:
Content-related cooperation: Academics (Gender Health and Justice Research Unit, GHJRU, Faculty of Health
Sciences, University of Cape Town, Departments of Psychology and Sociology of Nelson Mandela University),
NGOs (CJCP/Umhlali, Sonke Gender Justice, Wilderness Foundation, Project for Conflict Resolution and
Project Partners: YSC partner Schools, District Department of Education (Safer School Coordinator as permanent
partner of the programme)
What united partners was primarily the same goal, which is to reduce GBV in the Metro. People are shocked about
the tremendous increase of GBV in South Africa. Women are abused in their family contexts; girls are being
abused in schools, young children raped, etc.

The three success factors of the – Campaign” are:
 Peer-to-peer process – this has allowed the youth to own the campaign and made it possible that the
message is fully heard by the target group.
 Training by experts – it has guaranteed that the responses to GBV is conducted in a meaningful, resultoriented and reasonable way
 Cooperation with schools – most of the school management have realized – through the campaign – the
importance of the topic and took it over to support the efforts of the youth in their campaigns.


Compiled by: Joan Moeketsi: Senior Advisor- GIZ-VCP
Jessie Bohr: Development Advisor- GIZ-VCP