Monthly Archives: October 2021


In South Africa, there are many non-government organizations (NGOs) helping those who need assistance the most. These groups formed the Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) in 1987. Since then, the network has developed into a civil society organization that is historically linked to the social and political changes experienced in South Africa due to democracy. Despite being part of a network, the NGOs in South Africa also work independently. Here’s a list of 10 NGOs in South Africa working to make a difference.

10 NGOs in South Africa Working to Make a Difference

  1. AIDS Foundation of South Africa: The AIDS Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) was founded in 1988 and was the first registered anti-AIDS NGO in South Africa. The organization supports regional, local and national efforts to reduce HIV, STIs and TB infections. AFSA aims to address the structural and social drivers of HIV, raise awareness of sexually transmitted diseases and build resilience in communities. The organization understands that the HIV epidemic in South Africa is rooted in environmental, cultural, socio-economic and political conditions. Knowing that different groups with HIV are affected differently, the organization utilizes different strategies to address the social and structural drivers of HIV and AIDS by integrating interventions into a larger sexual and reproductive health framework. Through its programs and strategies, AFSA has helped people suffering from HIV and AIDS all throughout South Africa.
  2. CHOSA South Africa: Second on the list of NGOs in South AfricaCHOSA believes that every South African child should grow up in a healthy, safe and nurturing environment. To achieve this, the organization empowers people to address child poverty and confront that which sustains a community’s impoverishment, oppression and sense of powerlessness. CHOSA gives monthly grants to its partners providing a children’s home, two preschools, a girl’s empowerment program and a scholarship fund with clothing, food, medicine, electricity and water for the children and families in their care. The funds also assist South African communities by providing safe and nurturing homes for their children.
  3. World Vision South Africa: World Vision is an international organization with a branch in South Africa. World Vision South Africa aims to create a future in which no child is without protection, health, education and or employment (once they are of age). By identifying fragile and impoverished communities, they assess and create a program specific to that region, then implement that program to benefit the children and the community. World Vision’s South African branch has impacted roughly 320,000 lives with its programs in South Africa.
  4. The South African Red Cross Society: The South African Red Cross Society is the South African branch of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC). The objectives of the South African branch include spreading knowledge of first aid, home nursing and hygiene and carrying out relief work for the sick and wounded. As a partner of the IFRC, their principles in South Africa are to encourage and promote health improvement, the mitigation of suffering and prevention of disease. The organization also responds to crises in each province and provide relief to South Africans in need.
  5. Save the Children South Africa: Among the NGOs in South Africa that focus on helping children, Save the Children believes that all children deserve a future and a voice. Operating from South Africa and other countries around the world, the organization works to give children the opportunity to learn and thrive in the safest environment possible. Through its various programs, Save the Children has lived up to its name and produced long-lasting results for millions of at-risk children worldwide.
  6. MIET Africa: Yet another NGO supporting children, MIET Africa is an African education organization that strives to improve the lives of children and the youth by providing them with a quality education. With its focus on vulnerable and impoverished school communities, MIET Africa implements comprehensive tactics to address the educational needs of South African children, as well as any other needs that may tie into their initial lack of education.
  7. The Viva Foundation of South Africa: This NGO strives to be instrumental in transforming high-priority poverty areas, such as informal settlements, into stable, economically sustainable communities that provide civilians with education, employment, business and recreation opportunities. The Foundation provides services to these areas and addresses the community’s needs by creating a hub for its services.
  8. READ Educational Trust: The READ Educational Trust targets illiteracy in South Africa. READ is aware that illiteracy stunts individual progress and South Africa’s overall growth. They work to improve education and literacy by providing educator training and resources to schools in hopes of strengthening the education system. The organization also provides community and life-skills training to students entering the workforce and business training to adults.
  9. Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa: The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) implements effective environment, tourism, education and youth development programs throughout South Africa. WESSA also provides a variety of local initiatives for the environment. The organization helps improve the South African school curriculum through education for viable development and critical skills training and by creating job opportunities and sustainable livelihoods in the local communities. WESSA’s environmental restoration programs bring nature to South African classrooms.
  10. Human Rights Institute of South Africa: The Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) strives for a society in which human rights are protected and fulfilled for every person. The organization focuses on women and children, impoverished and rural communities and other informal settlements by providing human rights education to those who have been denied it. While teaching those rights, HURISA also fights for those in need by providing the victimized of South Africa with a voice.

These 10 NGOs in South Africa working to make a difference have changed the lives of many South Africans. Their continuous efforts give the poor of South Africa a chance at a brighter future.

– Yael Litenatsky

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80TH CEDAW SESSION


Notice on changes due to COVID-19 pandemic:

Although the CEDAW Committee will meet in person at the United Nations in Geneva for the 80th CEDAW Session, NGO engagement will be entirely virtual. NGOs can participate remotely via Zoom in relevant meetings and the public portions will be live webcast on UN Web TV.

IWRAW Asia Pacific remains committed to assisting NGOs to take part, and will continue to share updates through our website, listserv and social media channels as we receive more information on the schedule and modes of engagement.

Information on the 80th CEDAW Session

IWRAW Asia Pacific is an NGO which supports the CEDAW Committee and OHCHR in facilitating participation of women’s groups/NGOs in the CEDAW review process.

Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nicaragua*, Russian Federation, South Africa, South Sudan*, Sweden and Yemen are scheduled for review at the 80th CEDAW session which will take place from 18 October to 12 November 2021.

The OHCHR has now published the NGO Information Note, Schedule of Dialogues (State Reviews), and Programme of Work for the upcoming 80th CEDAW Session.

Submit a shadow report/alternative information to the CEDAW Committee

  • The deadline to submit a shadow report is four weeks prior to the commencement of the session, i.e. 20 September 2021.
  • Reports are to be submitted as a Word document to OHCHR at ohchr-cedaw@un.org, with a copy to IWRAW Asia Pacific.Please note the change in OHCHR’s email address for this session. The word limit is 3300 (inclusive of footnotes), or 6600 for shadow reports submitted as part of a coalition. Bearing in mind the UN’s green policy, hard copies of reports should be avoided. Our website provides guidelines for writing shadow reports, including reports focusing on specific thematic areas.
  • If you have submitted a pre-session report, you have an opportunity to present updated shadow report information, and provide your alternative information to respond to the CEDAW Committee’s List of Issues and Questions which your state will have to answer. It is important that your updated report to CEDAW addresses the issues raised in the List of Issues and Questions, which is how the Committee prioritises issues for the review and seeks to address gaps in the state report. Please see the CEDAW 80th Session page for your country’s List of Issues and Questions.
  • In addition to standard and thematic shadow reports, the Committee welcomes information on the impact on women’s rights and gender equality of measures taken by the States under review to address the COVID-19 crisis, and the integration of a gender perspective into COVID-19 recovery plans.

Please inform us if your group is preparing a shadow report to CEDAW.

Engaging directly with the CEDAW Committee at the review

NGOs have opportunities to engage directly with the CEDAW Committee during the review:

  1. Informal remote public meetings with NGOs:
    • Oral interventions by NGOs are permitted during this public meeting with the Committee and State Delegates. However, a maximum of 10 minutes is available per country, to be shared by all NGOs. Kindly confirm if you are interested in making an intervention, as we will assist in coordinating with other NGOs on dividing time and identifying priority areas.
    • The deadline for adding your name to the speakers’ list is Monday 4 October (Geneva time), following which you will receive a link from OHCHR to join the meeting. As part of our coordination assistance, we will send the list to OHCHR on behalf of your country group, with names in the order of presentation and with allotted times for speaking (as agreed by your group in advance).
  2. Remote private ‘lunchtime’ briefing with the CEDAW Committee:
    • NGOs will have an opportunity to privately brief the CEDAW Committee in a country-specific briefing before the Constructive Dialogue is held with the respective State delegates. It is an opportunity to answer any questions raised by Committee members during the informal public meeting and/or new questions that arise during the private briefing.

Dates for your calendar

Monday 20 September:       Deadline for submission of shadow reports
Monday 4 October:              Deadline for registering interest in making an oral statement
Monday 18 October:            Informal meeting with NGOs (Maldives, Nicaragua* and Sweden)
Wednesday 20 October:      Constructive dialogues (Maldives, Nicaragua*)
Thursday 21 October:          Constructive dialogues (Maldives, Nicaragua*)
Friday 22 October:               Constructive dialogue (Sweden)
Monday 25 October:            Informal meeting with NGOs (Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia and Yemen)
Tuesday 26 October:           Constructive dialogue (Egypt)
Wednesday 27 October:      Constructive dialogue (Yemen)
Thursday 28 October:          Constructive dialogue (Ecuador, Indonesia)
Friday 29 October:               Constructive dialogue (Ecuador, Indonesia)
Monday 1 November:          Informal meeting with NGOs (Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, South Sudan* and South Africa)

Tuesday 2 November:         Constructive dialogue (Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation)
Wednesday 3 November:    Constructive dialogue (Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation)
Thursday 4 November:        Constructive dialogue (South Sudan*)
Friday 5 November:             Constructive dialogue (South Africa)

Please let us know if you are thinking of participating at the CEDAW session in October/November 2021 and if you wish to participate in the virtual Informal Meeting with NGOs and/or the virtual NGO ‘lunch’ briefing. We will be arranging an information session in the coming weeks to review the above information and answer any questions. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out if further clarification is needed. Spread the word!

Please circulate this information to women’s rights groups you know. If you are with an NGO or a coalition working on an NGO report to CEDAW, please contact us at iwraw-ap@iwraw-ap.org, with a copy to audrey@iwraw-ap.org.

Category: Uncategorized