“Oohs” and “aahs” filled the room as a group of 30 women were treated to a surprise lunch on Thursday last week.Mosaic, with Mothers2Mothers, hosted the appreciation event for women from Tafelsig and surrounds who have all previously been affected by intimate partner abuse.The event was held at the Wolfgat Nature Reserve offices in Searidge Park. Dawn Fish, court programme manager of Mosaic’s Wynberg office, says although her organisation’s primary focus is women and those who suffer from abuse, they felt the need to host the event, especially since it is Women’s Month.“Today is all about us showing the women appreciation. Often these women are not acknowledged. They do a lot for others because it is stuff that must be done. But with this we want to say: ‘Thank you,’” she says.Health care was another part of the event, with blood pressure and HIV testing among other tests done.Nurses of Groote Schuur Hospital spoke about breast and cervical cancer and promoted overall health.“We want to promote overall wellness. Women must look after themselves not only spiritually but also [physically] but they are not informed enough. Especially now that they are getting older, we wanted to bring the services closer to them,” says Fish.Geneve de Vos, a social worker based at Mosaic’s Tafelsig office, says the invited women were nominated through Mothers2Mothers.“We want to honour these women. That is why we set up this surprise and they don’t know about it. They thought they were only here for a workshop,” she says.“We don’t want them to retell their stories, we want to honour their resilience. They have been through a lot and they are still here, taking care of others and supporting others.”Mothers2Mothers founder Rosalind Pillay says she had worked with youth affected by drug abuse in the community for years but recently started the organisation to focus on mothers and women who need support in Mitchell’s Plain.“I have been in partnership with Mosaic for years,” says Pillay. “I have a real passion for this. Mothers don’t only suffer from abuse, they suffer when their children or families are suffering from drug abuse as well.”The invited women were selected through programmes run by Mothers2Mothers.“Unfortunately we were limited to 30 women; we would’ve loved to do this for more women,” she says.Fish and Pamela Arendse also shared their testimonies to help encourage and empower the women who attended.The overall message was forgiveness and learning to stand up against abuse of all kinds.Local artist Lauren O’Ryan and the Matrix group of recovering addicts performed songs of encouragement at the event.An added surprise for the women was a gift, sponsored by Eddie Andrews, ward 78 councillor and Mayco member (South).The gifts were part of Andrews’s DAD ambassadors’ Mandela Day initiative and included hand-written notes from the youth participants.The gifts were handed over by a family member who also offered a word of thanks to the women. V For more information on Mosaic visit www.mosaic.org.za or call its offices on 021 397 3291.