Episode 04: The Story of Letsema

In this episode, we travel to the Vaal—a semi-rural area in South Africa, whose violent past still haunts it. We take a look at “Letsema”, an innovative community wide effort to combat gender based violence, and negative social norms around women and the LGBT community. We talked to Nina Benjamin and Nispho Twala from the Labor Research Service in South Africa, and found out why the Vaal can be such a violent place, and why the Letsema program was so successful. We also spoke with Michele Friedman, a Senior Associate of Gender at Work, to reflect on the systemic impact that Letsema had.

“I used to solve all my problems with violence especially when it came to these initiation schools. Letsema taught me how to better work with the community and work with many places and find better ways to solve issues in all these communities.”

This video offers some insight into the Letsema process in the Vaal.


Supporting Resources:

Our Hearts Are Joined: Writings From Letsema

Transforming Cultures of Violence: Ploughing the soil, planting the seeds of new social norms

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