Self-funded movement hopes to empower vulnerable widows

2017-05-18 06:00
Dr. Nomfundo Mali and Balungile Sakasa– Mini during a recent workshop.

Dr. Nomfundo Mali and Balungile Sakasa– Mini during a recent workshop.

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“In the blink of an eye life can change for the worst.”

These are the potent words of Balungile Sakasa-Mini, who is one of the founding members of the Widow’s Empowerment Programme (WEP).

Sakasa-Mini said in a bid to share her journey from grief to success she and Dr Nomfundo Mali founded WEP in 2017.

“WEP is a movement for empowerment and support of widows with special emphasis on township and rural women who struggle to make ends meet after the loss of their husbands,” said Sakasa-Mini.

Dr Mali said WEP was neither an organization nor a government structure.

“Amongst other things WEP’s mission is to conduct empowerment workshops and various social development activities for widows in various Western Cape townships, farm communities and rural areas in other provinces,” she said.

These workshops cover expert areas such as legal support, life coaching and psychological guidance, spiritual therapy, educational, financial and entrepreneurship skills.

The first workshop for widows was to enhance a special grieving, healing and learning space for sharing experiences, crying and comforting each other was held recently.

Dr Mali described it is “a very emotional workshop not only for widows but for the speakers and facilitators.”

“ The objectives of the workshop was fully achieved as it was a platform created for widows to share the experiences , cry together, comfort each other and begin the journey together towards healing,” she said.

The WEP ensured that the program was a success through utilizing part of salaries of the founding members to secure sponsorships from various organizations and businesses such as the Castle of Good Hope, Move Magazine, and OK Grocery store in Blomtuin, Bellville, and Cocoa by Michelle Grass, Afrikaansetaalraad, and Centre for The Book.

As part of their journey towards healing and empowerment, sessions for legal, psychological, spiritual and entrepreneurial guidance was the core of the event and will continue on a regular basis.

“ We want to appreciate all the support we have received and it is our wish and our long term objective that we secure permanent support from expert organizations on these special fields identified to support the widows. We will appreciate financial and any kind of support as the WEP is currently run through our pockets,” added Sakaza-Mini.

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