NPO helps women, children

2015-12-01 06:00
Fidaah Edries, Shenice Solomons, Samantha Reitz, Candice Seconds and Elain Dyson at one of Mustadafin Foundation’s initiatives. It is an NPO working in Delft and Tafelsig.

Fidaah Edries, Shenice Solomons, Samantha Reitz, Candice Seconds and Elain Dyson at one of Mustadafin Foundation’s initiatives. It is an NPO working in Delft and Tafelsig.

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Non-profit organisation Mustadafin Foundation plans to be active agents of social change during the 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children.

The Foundation, alongside the police, will raise awareness on domestic violence and health and safety issues to empower women and children in Delft and Tafelsig.

The theme for this year’s national campaign is “Count me in: together moving a non-violent South Africa forward”.

The Foundation’s focus is to create awareness of social, health and safety issues. Its members will visit community clinics today for World Aids Day to discuss issues and raise awareness of HIV and Aids.

“Together with the police we will distribute pamphlets about rape, child abuse, drugs and human trafficking. There is a rise in rape, disappearance and kidnapping of children and women in the Cape Town communities. The aim of this campaign is to highlight the abuse that women and children face within their homes and communities,” says Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem, director of the Foundation.

According to a report published by women’s rights organisation GenderLinks, 39% of women in the province have experienced gender-based violence at least once in their lifetime and 44% have experienced some form of violence in intimate partner relationships – whether emotional, economic, physical or sexual violence.

“We believe that empowerment and awareness of abuse and violence should not only be during these 16 days; our volunteers and community workers are active throughout the year to assist underprivileged communities where situations are dire,” says Johnstone-Cassiem.

One such initiative is the Isibindi project in partnership with the National Association of Child Care Workers in Tafelsig, which began in June.

The project employs local people and supervises and assists vulnerable children. Numerous families have benefited from this project in an area where the majority of youth come from disadvantaged backgrounds and lack parental support.

Stitch by Stitch is another project the Foundation has pioneered which has made a valuable difference in the Tafelsig community. Women who have been victims of domestic violence are taught how to sew and make clothing, enabling them to generate an income and provide for their families.

“Violence against women is becoming an epidemic in South Africa and we all have a role to play in putting an end to this scourge. We encourage community members to seek help and report all domestic and violent crimes to the police,” says Johnstone-Cas­siem.

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