I recently went in search of non-government organisations or welfare organisations in Limpopo that work with women and children who have been raped or are the victims of violence. From Warmbaths to Vaalwater I couldn’t find even one non-government organisation apart from the Abraham Kriel Orphanage in Modimolle.
With the help of the 1st for Women Insurance Trust, we decided to work with the hospitals and clinics to distribute basic care packs for women and children who had been raped.
The packs contain a face cloth, soap, toothpaste, clean underwear and a sanitary towel. For children there’s always something special such as a teddy bear – something to provide a measure of comfort.
Before the delivery of the packs I twice went to the state hospital at Modimolle – where Ina Bonnette probably ended up on the night of her torture and rape.
On my first visit to the hospital on a Thursday afternoon I was told by the security staff at the gate that there was no senior person I could talk to about the donation. We didn’t expect media coverage or try to arrange to have it. We just wanted to deliver the packs to a responsible person.
The next morning I returned to the hospital. While filing her nails and chewing gum the security guard refused to allow me in and said the head of the hospital wasn’t available. I asked if there was someone else I could talk to but she said it was Friday and there was no one else.
May the Lord help us. That security guard could have done a woman or child more harm than she’ll ever realise. I was irritated and wouldn’t say who I was or where I was from. I’m the public and I wanted to establish what the problem was.
I drove away with two things in my head, “No wonder the Limpopo government is under administration” and “I hope there was a Samaritan to help Ina – and the next Ina and the next Ina”.
Zelda la Grange, private secretary to ex-president Nelson Mandela, is blogging for YOU during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. Sheworks with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and does motivational talks. She is also active with projects such as Bikers for Mandela Day and Sisters with Blisters in her role as patron for the 1st for Women Insurance Trust.