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Bloodriver Advice Office restores dignity within the community

The organisation was founded in 1998, formally registered as an NPO in 2002 and was established due to the realisation of the lack of access to justice.

POLOKWANE – The Bloodriver Advice Office is a human rights organisation that restores the dignity of people in their community.

They offer interventions wherever there’s a violation of human rights and link the victims with the relevant institutions to assist them further.

Mary Selona, the project manager explained that on a daily basis, they offer the community free basic legal advice.

“We also do mediation and referrals to the relevant institutions. With mediation; where there is conflict, be it within a family, between neighbours or whatever the case may be, they come to the office and we listen to both sides of the story and intervene,” she explained.

The organisation was founded in 1998 but formally registered as a nonprofit organisation with the Department of Social Development in 2002.

It was established due to the realisation of the lack of access to justice.

“We work with lawyers who provide legal services for free. We also have a memorandum of understanding with the University of Limpopo’s law clinic that comes to assist with cases that are above our paralegals’ expertise,” she added.

The organisation has several programmes aimed at empowering the community.

One such programme is a gardening project which feeds the people in need within the community.

“We have recruited 80 women who we trained about gender-based violence. Daily, these women go door-to-door, visit clinics and educate women about gender-based violence. They are also a support system to survivors of gender-based violence because there are women who are sitting at home, who have experienced it but don’t have the courage to open a case,” she said.

They accompany victims and survivors to apply for protection orders if there’s a need, provide psychosocial support and or counselling. The advice office also works with stakeholders including Thuthuzela Care Centre, the police and the Seshego Victim Empowerment Centre.

Selona added that they would like for residents to know about the Bloodriver Advice Office and that they are there to assist.

“Although people make use of our services, we feel that we can reach even more people. We are not limiting it to residents of Bloodriver, anybody within the Capricorn District can come for assistance at the advice office,” she said.

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