To advance the mission of ACAOSOA towards a united, credible, professional, skilled, regulated and sustainable CAO sector, providing high quality and accessible primary legal services, Alternative Dispute Resolution and other developmental services to ensure that the human rights of the indigent are promoted, protected and fulfilled.
We commit to strengthening the quality and consistency of community paralegal efforts, through mechanisms for training, supervision, evaluation, and community oversight. We seek to make our work more evidence-based, and to increase learning among programs across borders. To that end, we commit to participating in networks of paralegal organizations at national, regional, and international levels.
We call on the South African government to recognize the role community paralegals play and its commitment to effectively participate in in the development of policy and legislation regarding paralegals.
We call on governments and development partners to invest in the scale-up of community paralegal efforts, and recognize CAO sector for its social profit and contribution to the overall development imperatives of South Africa.
State recognition should not entail state control. We call on government to respect the independence of community paralegals, so as not to hinder the crucial role paralegals play in holding the state accountable.
I was born in a small town called Douglas, Northern Cape province, South Africa, growing up with 12 brothers and 1 sister it was indeed a very hard environment with our mother needed to travel to Cape Town South Africa to work as domestic worker in order for us to be able to eat and go to school with no farther to assist us. I learned responsibility at a very young age to be able to look after my younger siblings taught be a lot of things and one of them was to stand up and take charge of my life. So at a very young age, whilst at school i joined as Non profit organization called the Douglas advice and development office (DADO) as a volunteer, they mainly focused on labour related issues, abuse, domestic violence and illegal evictions on farms, were i was part of them till i went to college in 2005 to study IT that very same year in 2005 i dropped out of college due to my mother felling ill, so i came back and worked for another NGO called the Douglas AIDS action group, their focused on HIV/Aids, teen pregnancies, LGBT, trauma counseling, victim empowerment and substance abuse whereby they appointed as a administrator, peer educator, master trainer, ground breaker and then Coordinator. Due to my role at the Douglas Aids Action group i was approached by the judicial inspectorate for correction services to work for the office of the inspecting judge as a independent prison visitor in 2010, during that same year i went back to DADO still working for the Inspecting judge and desolved DADO and established an NGO called Emtla koloni advice and paralegal centre with a colleague of mine called Dewald Salome, I became the Head of operations for the organization and Dewald the office manager, in 2011 i stepped down from my position as IPV and gave my full attention to EKAPAC as it grew very big by 2011. In 2011 i Graduated with diplomas in HR and Public relations management through IQ Academy and was elected as Deputy secretary for the provincial council for paralegals in the Northern cape under the wing of NADCAO in 2014 again elected as Secretary of ACAOSA Northern Cape after the formulation of ACAOSA as a national body that regulates the community based paralegals, that very same year in September i lost my mother after a long sick bed and the next year i was elected for a second term as secretary of ACAOSA and serve also on the National structure of council members as member of council, i was part of the Dullah Omar school for paralegism since inception and was part of the team that did plenary for the school, I'm currently studying Graphic Design on a part time basis at the University of Cape Town and will start with a BA Degree in Paralegal studies in June at the University of the North West, EKAPAC also serve now as the Provincial head quarters for ACAOSA.
Before joining ACAOSA Simbongile fulfilled various roles as community and student activist activist. He proceeded to work for the land rights organisation TRALSO and subsequently fulfilled leadership roles in various networks. He also did some time working for a municipality doing planning and intergovernmental coordination work.
I work for an organisation called ACAOSA, the Association of Community Based Paralegal of South Africa as a Programme Coordinator. ACAOSA is the voice and membership organisation of the community advice offices sector in South Africa, ACAOSA serves as an operational body, unifying the sector through national leadership and committees. I want would to be more involved in the thought-processes of Legal Empowerment globally to better contextually understand my work and the work of the grass - root networks that i engage with in my work.
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