Robyn started working voluntarily with DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights in April 2005 and received Skillshare International support as a Development Worker shortly afterwards. 'Ditshwanelo' means 'rights' in Setswana, so the organisation's name is written in capitals to avoid confusion.
DITSHWANELO works particularly to abolish the death penalty, improve children's rights and educate children about human rights, address the situation in neighbouring Zimbabwe, improve the rights of the San (Bushmen), and achieve land rights. It also provides paralegal support for people unable to afford lawyers.
ABOVE (from left): Maureen Akena (staff), Emily Ruhukwa (staff), David Modiega (back - board member), Bishop Trevor Mwamba (board member), Andrew Matayataya (back - staff), Alice Mogwe (Director), Richard Kashweeka (back - staff), Susannah Graham (volunteer), Robyn Cox.
ABOVE RIGHT: The DITSHWANELO offices in what used to be Alice's own house.
ABOVE: Staff members - Peter Tshukudu, Oteng Majuta, and Jeroen Lorist.
RIGHT: Mary Ratau & Emily Ruhukwa acting as receptionists at an event to launch a book about the case of two men on death row for almost ten years and finally, thanks to DITSHWANELO's intervention, released.
BELOW: A light moment at the launch of DITSHWANELO's booklet to assist lawyers to handle death penalty cases.
DITSHWANELO campaigns to encourage the Government of Botswana and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to put pressure on the Government of Zimbabwe to end its human rights abuses. At one of the seminars DITSHWANELO hosted, the then Zimbabwean Ambassador to Botswana (ABOVE RIGHT) issued a thinly veiled threat to the Zimbabwean speakers, causing an uproar in the press. Perhaps this is what kept the speakers safe on their return to Zimbabwe.
DITSHWANELO participated in a series of events to commemorate Zimbabwe's terrible Operation Murambatsvina, which is Shona for 'drive out the trash' or 'get rid of the filth'. This was the Government of Zimbabwe's demolition of "illegal" vending sites and slum areas which began in May 2005. One awareness-raising event was a public march to present a petition to the Government of Botswana (ABOVE), another was a prayer service (LEFT & RIGHT).
The Botswana Centre for Human Rights
BELOW: Boitumelo Ntwayamodimo, one of DITSHWANELO's paralegal officers provides some advice to Amogelang Segöotsane, from one of the few Bushmen families who has continued to live in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve throughout the major dispute with the Government of Botswana over their right to remain there.