PMB LifeLine director finalist in Women of The Year

2012-07-09 00:00

DESPITE losing her parents at a young age, and having to take full responsibility of her siblings, Sinikiwe Biyela (34) has proven to be a strong woman.

The Pietermaritzburg LifeLine director passed her matric with an exemption and has a Social Work degree from UKZN.

Her work entails supporting women and children who are victims of Gender Based Violence, rape and human trafficking in different communities.

The victims of these crimes are supported through their horrific experiences, with an aim of turning them from being victims into survivors.

The decision to study Social Work was based on her life experiences. She vowed that she would make a difference in her community.

Speaking to The Witness about losing her parents, Biyela said: “The whole experience robbed me of my childhood, but the most important thing that I missed was love, affection and compassion.”

The one thing that kept her going was her teacher, Nokubonga Dube, who motivated her to study and even offered to pay for her university application.

“I also told myself that I do not have to struggle for the rest of my life, as I had powers to influence my future,” she said.

She said the biggest lesson she has learned is that nothing comes free, you have to work hard in order to be successful in life.

“As a child I also learnt that you can’t choose your family or background, but you can influence your future. I also learnt to believe in myself and to be independent.”

Biyela has touched and changed the lives of many women and children. She strongly believes that women and children should be protected at all times.

“I believe that the children of today are tomorrow’s citizens and that without a healthy young generation the country is in trouble. I believe that women and children have a special role in the country and they do matter, therefore they should be protected from abuse and assisted to become survivors,” she said.

She is one of KZN’s finalists in the Shoprite Checkers Women of The Year Awards.

Biyela is nominated in the Good Neighbours Against Crime category and feels very honoured.

She said the nomination came as a surprise.

“Being a finalist means recognition not only for my work, but the work of my colleagues, LifeLine volunteers, the community I work with and everyone who has supported LifeLine Pietermaritzburg,” she said.

• Siyathemba.Ben@media24. com

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