This website is a space for community activists to share information, resources and experiences. The focus is on community action to stop the practices of private corporations and the omissions of governments, which results in destruction to community life and the environment.
While the action groups participating on this site are largely centered in Southern Africa , it is intended that the network of relationships extend to groups who share the same goals and values across the globe.
Community Monitors Project
The website is part of the Bench Marks’ Foundation Community Monitors Project. The project has been set up to help community activists build strong active community organisation.
Read more about the Bench Marks Foundation and Community Monitors Project.
Community Monitors School
This work is done through the Community Monitors School in which activists develop their skills in information gathering, writing, and communications, using local media and the Internet.
The 2012 programme of the Community Monitors School includes 6 community groups in South Africa with a total of 85 participants. The groups meet in workshops twice a week over period 6 months. After each workshops the participants are required to complete tasks that requires them to observe and document community issues as a first step towards mobilizing the community to action on these issues.
The South African community monitors project is linked with groups in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania who are engaged in similar training and action activities.
All these groups publish their work in progress on this site.
The Bench Marks Foundation
Bench Marks Foundation is an independent non-governmental organisation which was set up by The South African Council of Churches (SACC), the Ecumenical Service for Socio – Economic Transformation (ESSET), Industrial Mission of South Africa, CDT Foundation and the Justice and Peace Department of the South African Catholic Bishops Conference.
The Bench Marks Foundation is mandated by the churches to monitor the practices of multinational corporations to ensure they respect human rights, operate in a way that protects the environment and do not externalise costs; that profit making is not done at the expense of other interest groups and that those most negatively impacted upon are heard, protected and accommodated within the business plans of the corporation.
Bench Marks works with research, NGOs, religious and community organisations across Southern African Development Community. It does expert research; strengthens communities to engage on a more level footing with corporations and governments, and promotes public awareness through media outlets, websites, blogs and Facebook.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu launched the Foundation in 2001 and an office was established in 2003 in Johannesburg. The Rt. Rev Dr Jo Seoka chairs the organisation.