PACSA has worked on issues of human rights and social justice for over 30 years – including local government issues, peace, reconciliation and conflict transformation, participatory democracy, economic justice, and gender and HIV and AIDS.
PACSA was founded in 1979 to draw white Christians into the struggle against apartheid. It published information about incidents of apartheid violence hidden by the apartheid state, and many victims of violence came to PACSA for medical care, counselling and support. PACSA founder Peter Kerchhoff and staff engaged in crucial peacemaking activities in violence hotspots, and some were detained or killed.
Post ’94, PACSA continued to raise awareness within churches and other community structures on issues of social justice, with a strong emphasis on human rights and building active citizenship. Since 2004, PACSA began to work towards accompanying local community partners on their journeys towards reconciliation, building true democracy and social transformation and development. This journey has led us from 2012 to opt for process facilitation as our core methodology, as described above. (See also How we work).
To celebrate PACSA’s 30th anniversary in 2009, PACSA published a book called Journeying for Justice. Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, spoke about it during his keynote address at the 30th anniversary celebrations: “[This book] has much from which we can learn and be encouraged. In narrative history, in quotations, in photographs, in reproductions of newsletters, factsheets and posters, it powerfully and dramatically conveys the long and difficult path we have had to tread. But it is not just a record of the past – it is a guidebook to the path that still lies before us.”
Read more about the book and how to order it HERE
PACSA Archive Collection
The PACSA archives were launched at the University of KwaZulu-Natal withthe Alan Paton Centre at an exhibition entitled “Pacsa 1979-1999 – First Hand Accounts of Crisis and Compassion”. The event was attended by many who had been part of the making of this history and included a wall banner with images and excerpts from this incredible collection.