Outreach Staff

“After 16 hours when I knock off from work I find people waiting for me at my gate at my house with their cases. It is very tough but I can’t do otherwise. I have to help them.” 
                                                                                                    - Coordinator Dumisile Ndlovu


The twenty community coordinators are all women who come from and live in the communities they serve. Women are favoured because most clients at the support centres are women and children who are often victims of abuse by men, and they prefer to confide in someone of the same sex.

Being from the area, coordinators identify themselves with the problems experienced by community members and are therefore more aware of and sympathetic to their needs. They take pride in being able to help their community and are trusted and accessible, often receiving visits at home after hours. Their identification with their work is shown by the fact that most staff have been with CCJ for over eight years.

Selection and Qualifying

Selection involves consulting local community members and is based on passionTraining for the work, natural ability and interpersonal skills rather than school qualifications. Several candidates are short-listed and those chosen spend a few months training in dealing with clients, counselling, victim care, conflict resolution and report writing. They study university paralegal diplomas to give them a basic knowledge of the legal system. Lastly, a candidate works for a few months in the field while under assessment, until they are ready to work independently. Read interviews with the outreach staff

Ongoing Training

After qualifying, coordinators continue to receive training, attending workshops to increase their skills and knowledge in areas such as counselling and any changes to the law. In 2009 for example, coordinators received training on the new Sexual Offences Act and the reform of the Customary Law of Succession, and they have recently attended workshops on HIV/AIDS and the Domestic Violence Act. Workshop

Head office provides newsletters that update coordinators on changes to the law, and simplified versions of the most common laws they deal with in the form of its legal series booklets.

“It was easy for me to give clients accurate information about amounts of money and persons who qualify for grants and death benefits because of the internal newsletters that we receive.” 
                                                - Coordinator Nokuthula Mchunu on the newsletter

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