Since its launch in 2008, Street Talk TV has published over 600 films to communities across South and Southern Africa. In 14 years, we’ve given voices to the voiceless and allowed the real challenges of life from diverse communities in South Africa to resonate across millions – both locally and internationally. That is why we are so excited to announce that we’ve been granted a special grant from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) to continue this work.

With thousands of applications, Street Talk TV has proved that not only is our NPO essential for the prosperity of local communities but also for the greater good. It is with great pride that we embark on this important project with the help of the Canadian High Commission. When we collaborate with organizations like these that care about change as much as we do, that’s when the magic happens.

So, why the Canada Fund? The CFLI works with close to 650 projects annually – each demonstrating a focus on community, climate change, or women’s inclusion. This year, a big highlight was placed on Gender-Based Violence (GBV), and that’s where we got talking.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, GBV in South Africa has reached an all-time high. According to Frontiers, there was a 500% increase in GBV cases recorded 2 months into the national lockdown. Now, nearly 2.5 years later, we are faced with new headlines every day about the horrific and cruel treatment of women and children. Yet, what has changed? Whose voices are being heard?

Our goal, thanks to this new funding, is to bring these stories to light. We want to amplify how radical the social conditions that women and children face living in South Africa are – not just to our own circles, but to the world. It’s time for change, and we are ready to make a noise.

Our efforts to raise awareness for GBV are going to be twofold. Our plan is to create 6 narrative documentaries – 3 in the Eastern Cape, and 3 in the Western Cape, all about GBV. We will be working in rural and urban communities alongside key partners to help people defend their rights and build a sense of solidarity.

But it doesn’t end there. We are going beyond our online community and encourage everyone to #JoinTheDiscussions. There will be a screening of the films followed by a Q and A session (details to follow). In these sessions, it will be a chance to air your grievances, share your own stories, and highlight how GBV has affected you. Most importantly, it will provide a platform for us to spark change.

Street Talk’s co-founder and director, Richard Mills, had this to say about the collaboration:” We are very honoured to be given a grant by the Canadian High Commissioner to continue the work that we have been doing to change the narrative around Gender Based Violence. It’s well-known that GBV has risen significantly during and post-COVID-19 and this grant comes at an important time when people are struggling to defend their rights and find their place in society. We know that these messages need to be heard and need to be said. We also know that these issues go beyond the South African landscape and will have a greater impact for years to come.”

As you can imagine, this is monumental for Street Talk’s next steps. It also means that we get to go back to our routes of being behind the camera. These films will be made available to watch via our YouTube channel as well as our local broadcasters, Cape Town TV, Mpuma Kapa TV, Soweto TV and Daily Maverick.

A huge thank you goes to the Canadian High Commission for accepting our proposal to the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. It’s because of organisations and grants like these that we are able to do what we do and continue to make a difference in South Africa.

Stay tuned for the latest updates right here on our blog. Make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter for behind-the-scenes, updates, and more!

Have a GBV-based organisation or want to get in touch about our latest films? Let us know here.