Kelsey Jones

Kelsey Jones YLIP Intern

South African History Archive (SAHA), Johannesburg, South Africa

Dubbed the “Activist Archive”, SAHA’s mandate is to promote awareness of past and contemporary human rights issues through archival practices and utilization of access to information laws. SAHA tries to uphold the democratic ideals, of transparency, and openness, by advocating for compliance with the law and hold government and private bodies accountable.

I worked with the small, but mighty Freedom of Information Program at SAHA. The FOIP team uses the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (PAIA) to push the boundaries of access to information in South Africa. My responsibilities included submitting and monitoring access to information requests, initiating internal appeals when PAIA requests were denied, and writing news articles. I also drafted a position paper to be incorporated into a new SAHA publication. 

I am incredibly grateful for this experience, from discovering the many sides of Johannesburg to learning about South Africa’s tragic but rich history. I will look back at the time I spent in South Africa with fond memories, and forward to my professional future; there’s no doubt I will cherish all that I have learned.