Lane Benjamin

Ashoka Fellow
Gauteng, South Africa
Fellow Since 2006


This profile was prepared when Lane Benjamin was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Lane’s program, Community Action Towards a Safer Environment, or CASE, trains township residents to deal with various aspects of violence and the trauma it causes, especially among young people.  Complementing this volunteer corps are professional counselors. Together, they work in township schools, through a structured program that places counselors in residence. This is the first program that puts keeps a counselor on hand at all times, rather than making one available for particular incidents or occasional visits. Lane’s program then extends beyond counseling to introduce training and development programs for young people, which also have the goal of dealing with violence, but in a proactive way. Her low-cost system, run in partnership with schools and aided by professionals, has the potential to cover a large number of South African townships.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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