Sour welcome to new premises

2018-04-17 06:00
Philisa Abafazi Bethu premises.

Philisa Abafazi Bethu premises.

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The Philisa Abafazi Bethu (PAB) women’s and children’s project’s recent move to new premises at Lavender Hill High School was met with a burglary last Wednesday.

When the volunteers arrived at the premises to start work, they noticed a broken window. The organisation had to move from their Cafda office after the premises were sold to open way for a new school.

Greg Philander, project manager at PAB, describes the break-in at the music school: “One of our five windows was broken. They couldn’t get into our music centre but they managed to take stuff out like stationery and our CDs, and they damaged the CD player and the speakers. I believe because of the burglar bars they couldn’t go in and cause much damage,” he says.

Following the break-in, Philander says PAB founder Lucinda Evans was furious and knocked on the door of every drug lord in the area. “She had to tell them that their problem is our problem. If their people are doing this and they don’t do anything about it we are sitting with a huge problem. If they take the morning knowing that something had to be stolen it is bad for the community that they are trying to help,” he says.

Philander says it is not just about the break-in, but what upsets them is the disregard for an organisation that is trying to help. “We are here to help the community. We know the challenges and we want to help the community, but to have something like this is very disheartening. Now we have to look at more secure security measures. We don’t have the money for it but it is needed. We have to ensure that our equipment is safe,” he says.

The break-in may have dampened their spirits but it did not stop their programmes from continuing. The after-school programmes have not been interrupted and they are planning on having a meet-and-greet as well as an open day on Saturday 21 April from 10:00 to 12: 30 at the Lavender Hill High School premises.

“The idea is to let everyone know we are here and what services we have to offer. We also want those who don’t know about the organisation to come and get more information on how we can help. On the open day we will also be introducing new programmes for the community as we know some of the challenges they are dealing with and we want to help them,” says Philander.

Among the programmes that will be introduced is a school drop-out programme aimed mainly at girls aged between 10 and 12.

They will also have a women’s support group as well as a women’s empowerment group. “Women go through a lot and with the support group we want to help victims of abuse, trauma and any other issues that affect women. This is a group for you to come get help. The empowerment programme is also for women to know and realise their worth. We want them to take their stand and role in the society. We are encouraging everyone to come, as the day is for everyone and we have programmes for everyone. This will help us take our communities forward,” concludes Philander.

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