Community monitors from the Benchmarks Foundation attended the Jozi Book fair on the 3rd January. Mmathapelo Thobajane represented the women in action in the monitoring school. She talked about our writing, the use of newsletters, the challenge of writing and expressing oneself as well as the importance of writing as women activists and participating in the struggle. She was supported by Ole, Susan, Lorraine as well as other monitors and BMF staff.
My role in this team was to give support during questions on the floor the floor together with my colleagues.
Amongst the questions raised was, how does it feels like to be a women activists, what kind of stories are we writing, who supports us in producing this writings, who are our targeted audience, who reads or where we distribute our writings to?
For me the book fair was useful because I managed to learn the importance of telling our stories though writing and making sure that it reaches far places .It was good way of promoting the way we feel about what we write about and it gave ideas for fund raising
For communities to determine their own destiny they need to understanding to develop knowledge about the things that they can change and not change and not rely on NGO’s
We must recognise they agency we have. If we are to affect the whole country, we need to find ways to do on big national as well as local questions.