14 Change makers trained – 7 learners in each of the two schools were trained as change makers

60 peers trained – The change makers trained 2 classes of 30 pupils each.

Engagement with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) | Engagements with Schools’ Heads | Development of material for learners | Roll-out of the Workshop on bullying | Safety Audits | Training of Change Makers

Customise existing resources | Local Ownership | Move into action quickly | Implement and Learn at the same time | Keep the momentum | Communication Channels | Involvement of the right stakeholders | Resource for Civil Society members | Capacity Building | Sustain and Scale the initiative



Whilst many countries, including South Africa, have made progress on gender equality in education, girls continue to face many obstacles that impede their path to learning. Factors include discrimination based on sex, unequal investment rates by governments and inadequate hardships. 

Sexual violence at schools continues to be a problem in South Africa. It involves acts or threats of sexual, physical or psychological violence occurring in and around schools, perpetrated because of gender norms and stereotypes, and enforced by unequal power dynamics. This has very real consequences for learners’ lives ranging from low self-esteem and depression to early and unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. Some of these atrocities lead to girls dropping out of school and facing a bleak future later in life. South Africa needs to respond to the GBVF crisis in a coherent, comprehensive and multisectoral way that transforms harmful social and structural norms that feed GBV while intentionally reshaping the values and norms in ways that build positive social cohesion and restore human dignity.

Key interventions of the GBVF National Strategic Plan – Pillar 2.

The national pillar team selected one area for the district to choose an Impact Challenge.


The initial focus was to tackle toxic masculinity in Tshwane with a specific focus on learners in grades 6 – 8. Two regions in Tshwane, Region 1 and 2, were identified for this intervention.

The team then narrowed the focus to Great 8 learners, who would be taken through anti-bullying training. After the training, learners would then develop their own pledges, through which they would commit not to perpetuate bullying. Learners would then use this pledge for anti-bullying movement building.

The team further refined the focus to add learner-led safety audits. This model has proven to be an effective measure in 2 schools in Nelson Mandela Bay. The idea was to have learners map the roads and routes where they feel unsafe. The results of the mapping exercise were handed over to relevant authorities to identify ways in which they could improve the situation for learners.

100-Day Goal:

Evidence-informed programmes in 2 schools and safety audits and actions to reduce GBVF hotspots in 100-Days.

14 Change makers trained – 7 learners in each of the two schools were trained as change makers

60 peers trained – The change makers trained 2 classes of 30 pupils each.


Experiments, Innovations and Actions

Engagement with the Department of Basic Education (DBE)

The team engaged DBE first to get their buy-in. DBE was happy to support the process. Further engagements were held with DBE to ensure that the right protocols were followed to access the schools. Once all the permissions had been granted, the team and DBE then discussed the dates and modalities for the training of learners.

Engagements with Schools’ Heads

Engagements with Schools’ Heads focused on getting the necessary buy-in from schools to participate in the programme and to support learners through the journey.

Development of material for learners

The team created material that addresses bullying and other forms of violence and begins to encourage positive masculine behaviours. The material also covers the description of a change maker, the cycle of violence and different types of powers. It is linked to the Gr8 life skills curriculum.

Roll-out of the Workshop on bullying

14 Grade 8 learners from Tiyelani and Hlompanang Secondary Schools attended the anti-bullying workshop. These students, in turn, trained 2 classes of 30 pupils each in each of the two schools.


Learners could have been involved by performing this in a form of drama (dramatisation)

Safety Audits

Learners from the two schools walk long distances to and from school. Some of the roads/routes they use are not safe. They were guided on mapping these routes. This audit of unsafe routes was handed to the authorities for further handling. The idea is for the authorities to find ways to make public spaces safer based on their respective mandates.

Training of Change Makers

The team acknowledged that behaviour change takes time and concerted effort. They, therefore, identified key role players in Regions 1 and 2 to participate in a training programme that would empower them to support learners to be change makers. The objectives of the Change Makers Programme were:

  • To encourage young change-makers to realise that they have the potential to make a change
  • To equip them on topics and key messages they can advocate for and raise awareness on.
  • To have them contributions in the SPARK magazines

Insights gained and lessons learned

Customise existing resources

Proper planning at the beginning of the project lays a good foundation for the team. Based on the plan, the team could identify experts who could provide technical support on prevention-related interventions. This helped the team navigate carefully, ensuring that tested methods were used. In the end, the team had a clear plan on how to continue to support schools through the local stakeholders that have been trained and prepared for this kind of work.


  • Use tried and tested methods to address toxic masculinity, and customise these for your local environment. This way, you increase the odds of achieving the desired impact and behaviour change.
  • “Soul buddies and Love Life” programmes should be revamped and returned to the communities.

Local Ownership

The team appreciated the involvement of experts to support them on the applicable models and approaches to GBVF prevention. This resulted in a plan being developed and handed over to the team for implementation. Although this was done in good faith, it worked against the spirit of the 100-Day Challenges, which promotes ownership of the process by local teams. The team did not have the opportunity to shape and engage the plan in a manner that allowed them to internalise and own it. The poor communication between the team and stakeholders left other groups/ team members unsure of what to do and where they fit in and unmotivated. The lack of regular updates on the programme’s progress impacted negatively and caused the implementation to stall.


Involve the team in developing the plan because people tend to support what they help create, and the more engaged the team is in the plan’s success, the better the chance the plan has of succeeding. Continuous engagement with the group at every step of the implementation and allowing them to make inputs into the process keeps members attached to the programme and always ready to help. Such a platform should be created from the beginning of the implementation of the project.

Move into action quickly

The team realised that, although they had a good plan, they did not move into action as quickly as they could have. 100-Day Challenges are about disciplined implementation, amongst others. It took 5 months for the team to engage school heads, which delayed the implementation of the plan. 


Once your plan is ready, move into action quickly to increase the odds of achieving the set goal. This also allows sufficient time to adjust the plan should it be necessary.

Implement and Learn at the same time

Having developed the plan, the team allocated different tasks to different team members in line with their expertise. This created coherence in the way the team worked, and it also helped identify gaps in terms of additional skills and expertise needed. For instance, the team realised that there was a need for more knowledge and understanding of behaviour change models and models to support learners to be change makers. This is when the Change Maker programme was identified, and the relevant team members had the opportunity to be exposed to this model.


The same thing should happen with beneficiaries of the programme. Their roles must be clearly defined to be empowered to execute them well. Some of the roles identified are:

  • Schools to implement training and support programmes for parents on how to handle children with bullying tendencies.
  • More training and capacity building on the NSP on GBVF  and integrated approaches to addressing GBVF – training specifically tailored to schools with teachers, students and parents as primary audiences. DBE could undertake this role.
  • Provide more NSP on GBVF materials/booklets to school educators and learners. More summarised version if possible.

Keep the momentum

Although the team lost some of the members along the way, the remaining core team held the process to the end. The commitment and vision they had ensured that the work continued and that additional technical expertise was drawn in to support. This sustained this programme and kept the focus.  It is important to keep the team’s commitment to all stay on board.


Nurture relationships within the team to ensure continuity with those who started the project.

Use of Communication channels

Collaboration thrives in an environment that allows the free flow of information. The continuous flow of communication through WhatsApp sustained the team and ensured everyone was kept abreast of the latest developments. This helped even more when the team had to adjust its strategies and introduce learner-led safety audits. Through clear and continuous communication, team members worked together to ensure that this aspect of the programme was incorporated into the 100-Day Challenge.


Use communication channels like WhatsApp for the free flow of information in both directions.

Involvement of the right stakeholders from the beginning

Initial engagements did not include the Department of Basic Education until access was required to engage the learners. This led to delays in implementing the plan. By the time the team needed to engage learners, learners were already preparing for exams, and the idea was not to distract learners from their school programme.


  • Make sure that DBE is on board before you start any process that involves learners. This saves time and ensures that all necessary permissions are addressed early in the process.
  • Policymakers should be involved to be informed about real issues.
  • SAPS and Correctional Services should be involved.

Resource for Civil Society members on the team

Most stakeholders, especially those coming from civil society, do not have sufficient resources to support the process. For instance, they need to travel to school and attend both physical and virtual meetings and engage through WhatsApp. This lack of resources limits their ability to engage meaningfully in the programme.


Allocation of financial resources to civil society participants so that they can participate meaningfully in the programme

“I can’t exit the 100-Days Challenges”
“The 100-Days Challenge approach is a top-notch approach”
“The 100-Days is a spark that needs to be sustained”
“The 100-Day Challenge has shown us when you collaborate you can achieve a lot.”
“People grow in challenging situations. Forward-thinking is essential.”
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Capacity Building

There was an intensive discussion about the challenges encountered by the educators in schools in terms of children who are abused by community members, parents and other family members. All relevant role players need the capacity to be able to deal with this issue so they can respond appropriately.


  • Training workshops for the educators and other stakeholders to enable them to participate better and understand how they can participate fruitfully in addressing toxic masculinity
  • Each school should have a full-time social worker to counsel the learners and monitor their progress.
  • Toolkits and guidance notes on bullying should be developed and disseminated widely.

Sustain and Scale the initiative

The team wants to exceed the target in the next 100-Day Challenge project.  Two schools were just a start; there are still more schools in the district, and they wish to take the programme further.


GIZ-VCP & Katekani (one of the 100-Day organisations) to partner and do skills transfer to scale the programme in the district.  GIZ-VCP will provide technical and funding support.

Plans in progress to do the following:

Katekani to test out the Changemaker Network’s support with the other 20 Civil Society Organisations to support the 2 schools and change makers trained. This will include:

  • Weekly school sessions from August
  • School Campaign for 16 days of Activism
  • School Holiday Workshop for learner-leaders during December
  • Skills Transfer – a whole-of-society training on NSP Pillar 2 (school-based programmes)
  • Partner Workshop in September on school-based GBV prevention (intersectionality & participatory approaches)
  • School safety Workshops in 20 schools (September & October)
  • Reflection Workshop for partners
  • Report by Katekani on the process




Survivors and victims directly impacted
in 100 days

The 100-Days

01 April - 09 July

"We are proud to be involved in the challenge and from the beginning."

Unsung Heroes

People not part of the 100-day team, but without whom the results would not be possible:

Mr Makgato. –  Mr Moyane  –  Mam Motladi

Luxolo Matomela  –  Jabulile Mngomezulu  –  Thokozile Eister (100-Day Challenge Ambassadors)

"We applaud the team members that continued with the project even when others fell off along the way."

Thought starter reflection questions

Jot down thoughts on these questions – to the extent they are relevant to your experience at the session:
  • When did the mood in the event shift from “why are we here?” to “this could be interesting – I am excited to be part of this.” What triggered this shift? 
  • When did you have to go “off script” on the agenda or to change the agenda? What triggered this? What did you adjust? How did it go?
  • What was most surprising to you at the event?
  • What new insights did you gain about the issue at hand, and about the way leaders in the system interacted with each other?
  • Where did the conversation get stuck? What got it unstuck?
  • How would you characterise the level of trust among participants in the meeting? To what extent did this shift as the meeting progressed? To what do you attribute this shift, if indeed it happened?

Thought starter...

Reflection Questions 

Jot down thoughts on these questions – to the extent they are relevant to your experience at the session:

  • When did the mood in the event shift from “why are we here?” to “this could be interesting – I am excited to be part of this.” What triggered this shift? 
  • When did you have to go “off script” on the agenda or to change the agenda? What triggered this? What did you adjust? How did it go?
  • What was most surprising to you at the event?
  • What new insights did you gain about the issue at hand, and about the way leaders in the system interacted with each other?
  • Where did the conversation get stuck? What got it unstuck?
These are 100-Day Challenge Mentors. 

They did some work before you received the Challenge Note. This included:

  • Writing the Challenge Note, and making sure that the leaders of all the organisations represented on the team are comfortable with it – and committed to supporting the work of the team
  • Helping the leaders of these organisation recruit you and your colleagues to the team
  • Gathering some baseline data and other information that will help you and your teammates set your 100-Day goal and develop your plan.
  • Making sure all the preparations are made for a successful Lift-Off workshop, when you and your teammates will meet and get your 100-Day Challenge started. This includes venue, facilitation support, food, swags, comms, travel arrangements and whatever else is needed.


Mentors will participate in all or part of the Lift-Off Workshop, mostly at the start to provide context and answer questions, and at the end to give you and your teammates feedback about the goal and plan you develop.

During the 100 days following the Lift-Off Workshop, here’s what the Mentors will do:  

  • They will check in every two weeks with the team leaders to see how the team is doing and what support they and the team need.
  • They will keep other organisational leaders informed and engaged during the 100 days, and pull them in to help as needed.
  • They will participate in the last part of the Refuelling Workshop, halfway through the 100 days, to see what additional support the team needs, and to begin to plan with the team for sustainability and scale-up.
  • They will work with the team at the Sustainability Workshop to finalise recommendations on sustaining the results and building on the work of the team.