Des van Niekerk
Des van Niekerk is a social justice activist, a popular educator and an animator who is a co-founder member of Inside Out, who are fighting injustice being the voice of the voiceless and breaking the cycles of modern day slavery manifesting itself through intergenerational transfer of trauma.
Des has been working in the field of community development with a specific focus on the mental wellness and lack of access to services .He has co- authored ‘Building Bridges’ with the Medical Research Council of South Africa which seeks to maximise community impact in the public arena from religious institutions, government departments, city council, law enforcement and civil society in response to violence against women and children. He also co-authored ‘In the Hearts of Men – men changing lives’ which looks at our endeavours in the liberation of women, the role men play in upholding patriarchy and the emancipation of man whilst freeing the child. The book describes the philosophy and approach in working with men and young men in community and institutional settings, facilitation, program design and managing interventions. Des also authored several training manuals and resources.
Des has collaborated with many organizations to deepen community and personal engagement including Action Aid South Africa with a girls and young women’s project for girls vulnerable of becoming or already involved in gangs and violence. This project also included young mothers, mentors and parents. His expertise in youth/community led advocacy and community action, juvenile diversion and masculinity work is strengthen by his prior experience as director of many different NGO’s.