Helping hand for women

2019-07-09 06:00
Two of the 21 beneficiaries, Monique Corker from Welcome Estate and Anthea Lambert from Mitchell’s Plain. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Two of the 21 beneficiaries, Monique Corker from Welcome Estate and Anthea Lambert from Mitchell’s Plain. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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In an attempt to live up to its mandate, Ihata Shelter for Abused Women and Children in Heideveld will be launching its second charity shop.

Ihata is a non-profit organisation working with vulnerable women from around Cape Town and it relies on the generosity of the public to keep going.

Apart from direct donations, the shelter generate monetary income by exchanging some of the donated items for cash through its shop. The shelter sells the items at a reasonable price and uses the profit to cover the day-to-day costs.

According to Nuraan Osman, the director, they have faith that the second shop will be a success as they have been receiving positive results from the existing one.

She says the support goes a long way as they have 21 women living with their children at the shelter, all depending on the organisation.

Osman says they provide a holistic approach to help women regain their dignity and be self-sufficient through their six-month rehabilitation period.

These are women affected by gender-based violence and substance abuse. They are provided with accommodation, 90 days of therapy and life skill coaching. Where applicable, the shelter also helps them find employment.

While the women undergo various therapy programmes, their children are provided with care according to their needs. The shelter has two creche facilities, and transport children to and from school.

After the six months, the shelter ensures that each woman has a safe and comfortable place to stay. This is done either by reuniting them with their families or finding other suitable accommodation for them.

Osman says they have realised the need for services keep growing and most women are not aware that the facility exists.

Ihata also wants to explore various ways to raise gender-based violence awareness. However, she says this could only be achieved with the support from the public. She says women need to know that there is help for them, not just at Ihata, but all other shelters and government institutions.

Beneficiary Anthea Lambert says she suffered from substance abuse for a long time before finding out about the shelter. “I lost everything, and I am in the process of healing. The 90-day programme is very effective but they (the shelter management) cannot do it on their own. It would be nice if they get more support and be able to help more women,” Lambert says.

The shelter accepts donations of clothing for both women and children, monetary donations and volunteers who are able to help at the shops and the shelter.

Osman also appeals to private donors to consider adding value to the shelter by means of once-off donations or long-term sponsorships.

  •  For more information contact Ihata on 021 638 5578 or info@ihatashelter.org.za.

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