I am extremely passionate about assisting those affected by abuse in our country. The 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children started on the 25th November and ends on the 10th December. My new series the gift of giving is aimed at informing my readers about different groups and organisations that assist in the welfare of the women and children in our community. A great way to assist these amazing organisations through volunteering your time, donating or blessing those in need with simple items that we take for granted especially over the festive season.
Today I will be featuring Carehaven as part of the Gift of Giving series.
Before we find out more about this amazing organisation and how they assist women and children who are affected by abuse in our community let’s find out more about what “abuse” is and what we can do about it.
What is violence against women and children?
Violence takes many forms, for example:
- Physical violence in the form of domestic violence, terrible violent crime such as murder, robbery, rape and assault.
- Emotional violence and trauma at many levels caused by many factors. Women and children in their homes, at work, at schools, on our streets, in our communities suffer this form of violence for various reasons.
- Another terrible blight of our democracy is the violence of poverty, starvation, humiliation and degradation, especially against women and children. Poverty, inequality and unemployment are conditions under which violence thrives.
Together, let us take actions to support the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.
- Support the campaign by wearing the white ribbon during the 16-day period: A white ribbon is a symbol of peace and symbolises the commitment of the wearer to never commit or condone violence against women and children.
- Participate in the various 16 Days of Activism events and activities: See thecalendar outlining events taking place around the country over the period of the 16 days.
- Volunteer in support of NGOs and community groups who support abused women and children: Many organisations need assistance from the public. You can volunteer your time and make a contribution to the work of institutions. Help plant a garden at a shelter, sponsor plastic tables and chairs for kids at a clinic or join an organisation as a counsellor. Use your skills and knowledge to help the victims of abuse.
- Speak out against woman and child abuse.
- Encourage silent female victims to talk about abuse and ensure that they get help.
- Report child abuse to the police.
- Encourage children to report bully behaviour to school authorities.
- Men and boys are encouraged to talk about abuse and actively discourage abusive behaviour.
- Seek help if you are emotionally, physically or sexually abusive to your partner and/or children. Call the Stop Gender Based Violence helpline (0800 150 150).
- Talk to friends, relatives and colleagues to take a stand against abuse of women and children.
- Try and understand how your own attitudes and actions might perpetuate sexism and violence.
- Spread the message on social media using #16Days2014
- Join community policing forums (CPFs): The community and the local police stations are active partners in ensuring local safety and security. The goal is to bring about effective crime prevention by launching intelligence-driven crime-prevention projects in partnership with the local community.You may want to also become a reservist, a member of the community who volunteers his/her services and time to support local policing efforts to fight crime. For more information on how to join, contact your local police station.
Carehaven is a place of refuge for abused women and children. They offer a sanctuary and short-term housing for women who are victims of domestic abuse and their children.
Located in Athlone they accommodate up to 60 people. Although a strong Christian emphasis is maintained, they embrace women of all races and creeds. No one is ever turned away due to lack of money.
Domestic abuse affects alot of women in South Africa. Did you know that 1 in 4 women is a victim of domestic violence and ever 6 hours a women is killed by her intimate partner.
Abuse impacts on every aspect of a women’s life destroying self-esteem. The Carehaven programme of support and empowerment has to focus on the whole person to help her heal and to cope with future problems more effectively – to break the cycle of abuse, build up self esteem and move forward. The programme includes psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual, relational, sexual, economic.
To date Carehaven has helped over 5000 women and children!
How we can help:
Needs list for Carehaven
* Crockery and cutlery (hard wearing) for our kitchen. We feed up to 50
people per day and always seem to lose or break the crockery and never have enough
* Roll-on lawn or tarring or paving– the Cape Flats sand and moles make our grounds really ugly- for this reason there are lots of areas we would like to tar or pave so that we can get rid of the thorns, moles and sand. The cats from the PDSA next door use our sand as a litter box and we have endless hassles with our kids having worms. The huge thorns also hurt their feet badly
* Bedding and linen- with children wetting beds often and the regular washing of the bedding it really looks old, faded and tatty. We have bunks in the rooms (4 in the 6 double rooms; and 2 in the 13 single rooms) – the bottom bed is ¾ and the top bed is single. I have tried to make Carehaven look like a haven/ home with pretty rooms with matching bedding, but maintaining this is a constant battle. We needs fitted sheets, duvet inners and matching covers (per room) and curtains. Waterproof mattress covers would be most helpful too
* Roof- Our roof really needs repairing- it leaks and we have a host of ‘unwelcome visitors’ in there- actually screeching at times as they fight. They carry lice and this has even affected the skin of some of our children.
* Foodstuff- particularly meat, chicken and dry goods like coffee, tea, milk, milk powder, sugar, rice, tinned foods, cereal, cleaning material etc.
* Toiletries, nappies, clothing, baby stuff – Most of these women and their children run away in a hurry and so come with absolutely nothing or very little. We have to supply most of this to them which as you can imagine is an enormous task!
* Jobs – most of our ladies are hard working and honest, but because of their circumstances and their abuse have not got work. They need to be given a chance to prove themselves and improve their situation.
This is a very long list, but looking after up to 50 people at a time is very costly! We really appreciate all the help we can get!
If you have any recyclable unwanted goods, furniture, clothing, bric-a-brac. You can contact the The Salvation Army Thrift Shop in aid of the Carehaven shelter for abused women and children. They will collect.
You can also apply for a My School card.
To find out more info you can find them on Facebook here.
Thank you Carehaven for the amazing work that you do to serve and love the women and children in our community.
If you would like to be featured please contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org