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Spotlight on Safe House Volunteers

Posted in Articles

As a non-profit organisation that relies heavily on community involvement we are always grateful for volunteers who come and assist us by giving us their time. You’d be surprised to see how much good a crafting, cooking or baking group activity can do to lift the spirits of the downtrodden. Some volunteers also arrange outings for the women and their children, which is always a treat.

If you are thinking of becoming a volunteer, click here, and read what two of our very involved volunteers have to say about their experience at Safe House.

Carloien Zietsman

Carolien is a housewife who leads group craft projects and general skills training once a week for two hours. She has been volunteering at Safe House for the last six years.

Q: How did you find out about Safe House?

A: Eiekestad News (Local News Paper)

Q: What motivates you to be volunteer?

A: Creativity brings me joy and sharing it doubles the pleasure.

Safe House Stellenbosch Volunteers

 

Q: What have you learned from your experience at Safe House?  

A: People need a place of safety when life gives them a blow. Here they can recuperate, get training and skills development and therapy, enabling them to enter society stronger.  

Q: What has been one of your most memorable moments at Safe House?  

A: After a few sessions of crafts people start believing in themselves, see beauty in creativity, try things they have never imagined doing and loving it.  The trauma of abuse dims the light in their eyes and I have witnessed a few lights coming back on during my years as a volunteer. Smiles appeared after they were sure they cannot do it. Being part of that growth and accomplishment made me realize everyone can make a difference with their talents and contributions.  Seeing the change in a person is the bet reward anyone can ask for.

 

Q: What’s on the top of your wishlist for Safe House? 

A:  1.The perfect house would be a room for each individual. 2. Courses for free education. 3. Sport clubs giving them free entrance.

Carolien says, The people working here all very dedicated.  They are my heroes. I do suffer when kids come in and pray when they go out, that their moms can cope with the demands of the outside world.  My wish for them is a place where they can go, like a clubhouse to help them with day to day problems.”

 

Lucille Roos

Lucille started volunteering at Safe House in June this year (2016). She visits once a week (sometimes with her daughter) and assists with the skills training by teaching cooking, baking or an art form.

V: Hoe het jy betrokke geraak?

A: Ek wou graag iewers in die gemeenskap betrokke raak by vroue waar ek ‘n klein verskil kan maak. Ek het by Lee Rossouw gehoor van die Safe House en weer op Facebook gesien dat hulle vrywilligers nodig het. Daarna het ek hulle gekontak en betrokke geraak.

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V: Wat het jy sover geleer iut jou ervaaring hier?

A: Ek het ontsettend baie geleer uit die ervaring. Hier kan n mens in ‘n goed georganisserde opset deur iets kleins te doen n verskil maak in vroue met baie seer in hulle lewe. Hulle is so dankbaar vir kleinste iets en werk so lekker saam. Ek het voorheen groepwerk gedoen maar dit nog nooit so positief beleef nie. Al die personeel is so positief en behulpsaam en maak dat die ervaring altyd baie lekker is. Ek leer elke keer iets by die vroutens, al is dit net om dankbaar te wees vir my eie huislike omstandighede en veiligheid asook my voorreg om n vrou te wees.

V: Beskryf ‘n ontvergeetlike oomblik wat jy hier ervaar het?

A: Die oomblik wanneer daar begin lig kom in daardie vroue se oe,wanneer hulle hul koppe oplig na n week daar en net begin spontaan begin deelneem aan enige iets wat jy doen. Hulle dankbaarheid is ook baie besonders! Al die personeel se hulp en positiwiteit is ook baie inspirerend. Ek dink net die hele warm en veilige , liefdevolle omgewing wat hulle daar skep is ongelooflik!

V: Watter dinge is bo op jou “wishlist” vir Safe House?

A:  1. ‘n Nuwe eetkamertafel 2. ‘n Radio/cdspeler en 3. Nog baie vrywilligers wat daar betrokke kan raak!

Lucille says…“Baie dankie vir die geleentheid om n verskil te maak in ons dorp!Dankie vir Safe House – al julle harde werk en goeie ingesteldheid.dis absoluut aansteeklik!Mag die Here julle goeie werk ryklik seen.”

Safe House Stellenbosch is  place of safety for women who need to escape domestic violence. If you know of anyone in need, please click here.

To support our cause with a small donation every month, why not become a Friend of Safe House? Click here for more information. Every R1 makes a difference to us.

 

We, at Safe House, recognise Strength in Femininity

Posted in Success Stories

Too often we see women who give up on their femininity, or start viewing being feminine as a weakness. 9 August was Women’s Day, and this month we, at Safe House Stellenbosch, want to ask all women out there to embrace their God given femininity and realise that being a woman does not make you weak.

What is femininity?

Femininity is depicted in many ways, and if the media is anything to go by, then women misuse their femininity to take advantage of others. They dolly themselves up to be flirtatious and seductive. But this is the world’s idea of being a woman – and there is much more to owning the fact that you are a woman. The strength we are talking about is an inner strength.

Safe House Stellenbosch

Finding strength in your femininity is about embracing your womanhood and allowing yourself to be authentic. It’s about harnessing the things that make you you: your kindness and nurturing nature. Although femininity is also about your softer outside appearance, it’s more about who you are in the inside.

What does the Bible say?

God has made women different purposefully. Physically, they are different, being generally delicate and crafted to bear and nurse children, and they have different emotional needs as well. In the Bible Peter tells husbands to treat their wives in an understanding way because they are different, being women, and men need to understand this (1 Peter 3:7). Women shouldn’t be yelled at, threatened physically, or intimidated by men. They should be treated with sensitivity, care, and respect. Women shouldn’t have to compete with men in terms of “toughness,” for their strength is different. Women are clearly different physically and emotionally in terms of how God has made them and wired them. They need to accept this, and men need to honour this reality.

A woman must guard her heart above all else, and she must be free to be who God made her to be. She is different than man, she is the complement for man, and she has different roles in marriage than the man. True womanhood is doing all that she does, regardless of where she presently is in life, to the honour and glory of God by honouring His Word.

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We at Safe House, aim to empower the women who find themselves in our shelter with their God given femininity. We provide opportunities for employment, skills training and counselling.

If you are being abused and need help, please contact us.

If you would like to become involved in our cause, please sign up to be A Friend of the Safe House. We also welcome any donations and volunteers.

Remembering Madiba this July

Posted in Articles

Nelson Mandela Day is an internationally recognised day in honour of our very own Madiba. It was launched in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday: 18 July in 2009 by the United Nations. The commemorative day was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made in 2008, for the next generation to become leaders when addressing the world’s social injustices. His famous words were: “it is in your hands now”.

Nelson Mandela must be one of South Africa’s most iconic leaders. He was known for his gentle spirit and magnetic charisma. He followed three rules throughout his life:

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1. Free yourself.

2. Free others.

3. Serve every day.

As he proved, these rules come with great personal sacrifice, but also have the power to bring great joy.

 

Here is a list of our favourite Madiba quotes taken from the website weresoinspired.com.

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Mandela Day is more than a celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy, it’s is a global movement to honour his life’s work and act to be the change that you hope to see. We at Safe House Stellenbosch are honoured to be a part of that legacy by serving our community.

Our residents and staff all did their 67 minutes serving other welfare organisations in the community.

You too can make a difference at Safe House Stellenbosch this in Mandela month by giving your time, or making a donation. Read more about our 67 Drive for July 2016 here.

Be the change!

Posted in Campaigns

Madiba spent 67 years making the world a better place. What will you do with your 67 minutes?

18 July is Mandela Day and Safe House Stellenbosch will be pay tribute to Madiba in various 67 increments this month. Please join us in our 2016 Sixty Seven Drive to be the change in the lives of women and children who are victims of domestic violence this July.

Be the change! 3 Acts of Support that will benefit Safe House Stellenbosch in Mandela month.

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ONE: Invite 6 or 7 friends to LIKE our Facebook page

That’s easy enough, isn’t it? Simply invite a few friends to like and follow us on Facebook. Why? Because by growing our audience we can educate more people the causes and effects of domestic violence. More people will hear about our safe haven , and reach out for help or offer assistance. Like our FB page here.

TWO: Give 67 minutes of your time

Do you have a skill that you can use to teach or train the unemployed women currently residing at Safe House? Contact us (insert link). Our rehabilitation program is geared at equipping women with the necessary skills for the workplace. We believe that by making them employable they can be independent and free of cycle of abuse.

We also welcome volunteers who want to work with our children. Perhaps you would like to run a craft workshop or a fun activity for our kids? Click here to contact us, we’d love to hear from you.

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THREE: Donate R67 – and invite your friends to do the same

Make your donation once-off or pledge this nominal sum every month. Every rand donated goes a long way at Safe House and we rely on the contributions made by our Friends of Safe House. To become a Friend of Safe House, all you have to do is pledge to donate any small sum of money to Safe House on a monthly basis. For example: you can put a stop order on your account for R67 per month. Mandela month is the ideal time to get into the habit of giving and being the change we want to see in South Africa. Want to become a friend of Safe House? Click here.

 

Nelson Mandela said: “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.”

 

The idea of Mandela Day was inspired by Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park in 2008. The UN officially declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, recognising Mandela’s “values and his dedication to the service of humanity”.

 

Safe House Stellenbosch is a place of safety for women and children who are fleeing domestic violence. We are not just a shelter. We are dedicated to helping the victims of abuse change their lives through healing therapy and necessary training. To find out more about us and what we do, click here.

Image credit: springsadvertiser.co.za

Domestic Violence vs Children’s Rights

Posted in Articles

Women and children remain the key victims of domestic violence. As we have just celebrated Youth Day on 16 June recently, we find ourselves more aware of children’s rights and the violation of those rights in the context of the home where domestic violence is prevalent. What rights to children have? What are the tell-tale signs that your child may be abused? What can you do to facilitate their healing?

Our children are entitled to the most basic of rights, that in essence, allows them to be children without the stresses of being an adult. Some of the most basic rights include:

  • To be protected against child labour
  • To be cared for i.e washed and clothed
  • To have enough food to be healthy
  • To have an adequate education
  • To speak out and be heard
  • Access to health care when they are ill
  • To be protected from harm (physical. emotional and sexual abuse)
  • To have shelter and to feel safe
  • To be protected from harmful substances and drugs

 

How can I tell of my child is being abused?

There are some warning signs to look out for and investigate if they surface. While physical abuse is often visible (bite marks, bruises, cuts, burns and unaccounted “injuries” and swellings) it’s the the child’s change in behaviour that is most telling.

  • Does the child avoid physical contact?
  • Does the child become scared when other kids cry?
  • Do they wear clothes to hide injuries?
  • Does the child refuse to change for sport at school?
  • Does the child go to school early and not want to go home?
  • Does the child come up with different excuses for his injuries?
  • Does the child reach the developmental milestones that is normal for his/her age?

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What can you do to help your child heal from abuse?

Give your child attention and reduce stress. While you child is going through counselling, you need to give your child your attention by listening and accepting your child’s feelings. You will need to play an active role in limiting stress in your child’s life. This may mean making sure that there isn’t unnecessary pressure at school or that your child has enough to eat. Keep the peace at home.

Monitor your child’s healing and give reassurance. Remember that healing takes time, and it’s vital that both parent and child are reminded of this. Get help if your child has severe outbursts or reactions or if they undergo any changes in their emotional state or language use. Try and be with your child as much as possible and just keep on supporting them and reassuring them that you love them.

 

[Could you be in an abusive relationship? Read this article.]

 

Safe House Stellenbosch is a place of safety for women and children who need to escape from domestic violence. We offer them shelter, and a professional counselling as part of our emotional support programme. We also assist in up-skilling and job placement in order to give the women and their children a real chance of freedom from domestic violence.

Would you like to be become a friend of the Safe House by making a monthly contribution? Click here.

We are always in need of volunteers and donations and would appreciate any assistance you can offer.

 

Image credits: www.momtastic.com and slideshare.com

‘Let’s honour the fathers,’ says Safe House

Posted in Articles, Success Stories

 

16 June is Father’s day. While this isn’t an official holiday, it does give us the opportunity to turn our attention to fathers the world over and honour those who do right with their children and families as leaders, providers and protectors. As a Christian run organisation, we at Safe House Stellenbosch, have a very real understanding of how vital the role of the father is the home. Above all else, a father is the earthly example of Father God (Abba Father) our heavenly Father.

 

What does it mean to be a father?

 

Does biology alone make man a father? It’s unlikely that in this day and age any person believes this fact on it’s own is true. Many factors add up to fatherhood, and biology isn’t necessarily one of them. So many more children are being raised by their moms because of divorce, but also by their mother’s new partner or husband. These men are stepping up to plate and participating in the children’s lives like a dad would: attending school meetings, supporting the children financially, disciplining them but also nurturing them in the home .

 

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But what does it mean to be a father? Fatherhood is a privilege that comes with an immense amount of responsibility, but essentially it means is to love a child and always do what is in the child’s best interest while taking on the role of moulding them for adulthood. But above all else it is Love. It is a love that is instinctively translated into five languages, namely: words of affirmation,  performing acts of service, giving and receiving gifts, spending quality time and physical touch (Read Gary Chapman’s book The 5  Love Languages).

 

We at Safe House would like to honour the fathers this Father’s Day and say thank you. Thank you for loving your sons without restraint and giving them the freedom to express their emotions and for showing them how to be fathers themselves one day. Thank you for loving your daughters in a way that teaches them how they should be respected and treated by their husbands in the future. Thank you for striving to be a Godly example of God’s love for us by demonstrating that fatherly love to your children.

 

Become involved in Safe House by making a donation or becoming an official friend of our organisation by donating just R100 per month. Keen to become a volunteer? Click here.