V&A Joy from Africa

The Justice Desk

The Justice Desk is an NPO working across our city, and beyond, impacting the lives of more than 1.4-million people in the past eight years. Its programmes empower people with knowledge around their human rights and encourage everyday activism that is community-driven.

The V&A Waterfront is a supporter of The Justice Desk’s Mbokodo Club, which welcomes 30 girls between the ages of nine and 19 annually – all survivors of rape and gender-based violence – and takes them through a three-year programme of mental health care and trauma counselling, self-defence and fitness, and leadership and empowerment workshops. 

“They become well-rounded leaders who are not defined by their rape or the violence experienced,” says Jessica Dewhurst, who founded The Justice Desk in 2013. It has a waiting list of over 300 girls wanting to join the Mbokodo Club.

Ikhona (15) is a survivor of GBV and a member of The Justice Desk’s Mbokodo Club: “I used to be afraid, but through the Mbokodo Club I have gained confidence in myself and am more comfortable around other people. Through self-defence workshops, I have learned how to protect myself from situations where I can get hurt. I have also been taught how to take care of my mental health, which is something I didn't know about before. 

“I have so much to take back to my community when I leave a Mbokodo Club session. I tell people not to be afraid and to speak up – especially survivors of gender-based violence; it’s not something to be ashamed of. The Justice Desk is teaching us that our voices matter.”  

Says Gadijah Karan, a long-time volunteer at The Justice Desk’s Mbokodo Club, “I have witnessed our heroes grow from being shy and afraid of sharing their stories, to being inspirational, confident and strong leaders who refuse to be confined to the label of ‘GBV victim’. The self-empowerment, self-defence and fitness, as well as the mental health care and support workshops that the girls attend have impacted their lives immensely. There is definitely a need for this project amongst our most vulnerable communities, and I am so thankful that I get to be a part of it!”

We proudly support the work that The Justice Desk is doing in our communities, working to create a generation of people who protect and respect human rights. These are just some of the NGO’s achievements:

  • 263,452 people trained to become everyday activists.

  • 1,004 young girls who are survivors of rape and gender-based violence have received mental health support, human rights training and self-defence classes through the Mbokodo Club. 

  • 216 young boys without father figures have been mentored by positive male role models and trained to be human rights champions through the Ntsika yeThemba project. 

  • 1,052 elderly, sick, disabled and abandoned people have received support and direct services through the Umoya project.

  • 42 schools and 148 Youth Ambassadors form part of The Justice Desk’s Youth Ambassadors Project, where the young people it mentors become defenders of human rights across South Central Africa. 

Such work transforms societies in a sustainable way, creating a more just and equal world. 


YOU can contribute to this life-changing initiative by becoming a monthly donor and member of The Justice Club. No matter how small, your monthly contribution will be bettering lives in neighbouring communities. You’ll receive quarterly gifts and letters from the children involved in the projects. Head to the ‘DONATE’ page at www.justicedesk.org. Or join the movement and become a mentor.


Art created by

Nick Ntuli



Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss another update from the V&A Waterfront.