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  • Writer's pictureLesley Sykes

Project Playground South Africa & Sweden: Shining a light on Gender-Based Violence

beCuriou proudly partners with both Project Playground Sweden and South Africa to ensure that we communicate the relevance of their ESG work to our clients and in turn assist in growing the global Project Playground benefactor community. We echo the sentiments of the famous African proverb: “it takes a village to raise a child”.

When visiting Cape Town or Stockholm, beCuriou gives its clients the unique opportunity to visit the centres and meet the team behind the organisations powerful work. These are “money cannot buy” experiences which we are very proud and passionate about providing for our clients.

There is a clear and increasing global trend for businesses to take a strong and meaningful approach to address degradative societal issues. Through our Impact Travel offering at beCuriou, we are a business which champions global change. One such issue is the erosive and catastrophic global epidemic: violence against women and children.

Gender-based violence (GBV) does not merely affect some countries or small segments of society; it is universal. “35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence,” (World Bank, Sep 25, 2019). The consequences this immense epidemic reach every level of society, from individuals to families, businesses to communities.

It is encouraging and progressive to see global organisations taking a stand against GBV, to raise awareness about the societal consequences, as well as provide access to resources to help survivors to heal. Most notably, by educating our youth about their rights and encouraging them to take a stand against GBV, organisations have a better chance of eradicating the continued explosive effect of this epidemic. One such organisation is Project Playground with centres in Cape Town, South Africa and Stockholm, Sweden. Project Playground was founded in 2010 by Princess Sofia of Sweden, at the time Sofia Hellqvist, and Frida Vesterberg. Sofia and Frida realised a need to focus on the individual's development in combination with a holistic perspective about the child and his or her unique personal needs, in order to create a sustainable and long-term change at both individual and system level. Frida Vesterberg, Director & Co-Founder tells beCuriou: “Sofia and I had a simple idea of providing a safe space for children to play. I could never have imagined that Project Playground would one day become a benchmark organisation in providing holistic support for almost 900 children and youth.”

Today, Project Playground runs child development programmes, continuing to provide a safe space for under privileged children and youth. Classes are tailored to different age groups, starting from age 4 up to 18 years old and including workshops and trainings for parents. At their centres, participants engage in discussions around many types of social issues. At the forefront of their work is teaching participants about gender-based violence and femicide. These conversations work to change attitudes and help participants understand the meaning and importance of consent, respect, speaking out against GBV, as well as techniques to pass on the information to their friends and families.

During South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown, cases of GBV rose dramatically, leading to President Ramaphosa calling for immediate action and support. Project Playground, in both Sweden and South Africa, worked to raise awareness within their local communities through information campaigns, protests and disseminating information about resources for potential survivors of GBV. Their work continues to create a positive ripple effect within under privileged communities.

beCuriou is very priviledged to call Project Playground an ESG partner and to be able to create the opportunity for its clients to experience the progressive work that is being done on a daily basis in the townships of Cape Town and suburbs of Stockholm. To be able to witness and submerge oneself in this impactful work within local communities is exactly the opportunities we would like to provide for our clients. A richer and more beneficial experience one would go far to find.


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