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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.

 

 

Avontuur Estate Restaurant Owners Support Safe House Stellenbosch

Posted in Articles

We recently published an article about some of our major sponsors and supporters, to this ever growing list, we’d like to give a special mention to the Zunia and Melanie, the owners of Avontuur Estate Restaurant, who every month, through a sponsored invitation to their business breakfast networking event, give us the opportunity to meet and connect with more potential sponsors. We thank them for helping us reach even more people in our community.

Here’s a brief interview with them about what their involvement means to them.

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Owners Zunia and Melanie of Avontuur Estate Restaurant

Where did you hear about Safe House?

We first heard about the Safe House when manager Lee Rossouw came to one of our Business Breakfasts a few years ago. I had never heard of it before.

Why are you so passionate about supporting them?

Zunia says, ‘I am a staunch Feminist and spokesperson within the LGBT community. The abuse of women and children is often a silent burden that many victims have to endure on their own. The fact that one in three women is abused in South Africa is an alarming statistic, and those stats rely on women speaking up, so we are sure that that number is in fact higher. The stigma of being abused as well as the withholding of finance keeps the victims in a position of powerlessness and silence.  I believe in the Biblical verse that says: give a man a fish and you give him a meal, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

[If you are being abused, please read this article.]

If we can get the women back on their feet by giving them skill-sets they become empowered enough to stand on their own feet and there is nothing as rewarding as seeing a person rise up from the ashes.

One of the reasons we sponsor Lee at every Business Breakfast Club is that within every meeting there will be guests that have not heard of the Safe House  as well as guests that may be able to provide the ladies at the Safe House with skills such as computer literacy, cooking, sewing or even facilitate in their healing process by providing a safe space to explore their feelings via the making of dream boards etc.’

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Safe House Stellenbosch Manager Lee Rossouw (center) networking at one of the breakfasts.

If you had one wish for Safe House, what would it be?

That we did not need them in the first place. But as the need is a real one, my wish would be that their own financial burdens were lessened by assistance form the Government.

I am grateful on a personal level for the support private individuals and companies have given to the Safe House. Without participation the Safe House would not have had so many success stories and would not be able to continue to do the valuable work that they do.

If you would like to become a regular supporter of the Safe House, you can sign up for becoming A Friend of the Safe House here.

To become a volunteer, click here.

With a little help from our friends

Posted in Articles

Safe House Stellenbosch has been truly blessed with community sponsorships and donations throughout the years. Without the help of the Friends of the Safe House and regular donors, we would never be able to continue our work of looking after the victims of domestic violence.

About us

‘L’Abrie de Dieu’ means God’s shelter. Our doors are open to women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. We not only provide a temporary place of safety for them from their circumstances, but also strive to uplift them with therapy and skills training to enable them to take on the future as a victor and not a victim. You can read more about our skills training and other programs here.

Help from the community

With respect to our donors who would prefer to maintain their anonymity, we would like to say thank you. You know who you are and what you do. We are proud of our association with you and we value the relationship Safe House has built with your organisation.

A special thanks to our loyal contributors

Super Spar Simonsrust, Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Ltd and Checkers Stellenbosch who support our victims with random donations and employment where possible.  Employment is one of the victims’ top needs and both retailers have assisted several women to gain very necessary work experience, or by being permanently employed.

Safe House Stellenbosch

Checkers Donation

NG Kerk Welgelegen who continually enquire about our needs and then try to meet the needs where possible.

Builders Express Stellenbosch who have come to our rescue many times as our local “Handymen” assisting us with fixing and maintaining the house inside and outside.

We are also especially fortunate to be the charity of choice of local sports heroes, Maties Rugby Club and the Varsity Cup with their ”Keep the Aggro on the field” campaign. They have helped us with the following projects, making Safe House more than just a roof over our victims heads, but also a space that encourages peace and healing:

  • An awesome tranquillity garden
  • Covered our stoep area with a roof to provide extra skills training space
  • Established a playground for the children
  • Assisted with a partial kitchen upgrade
  • And painted our Children’s Play Therapy Room
Stellenbosch Safe House

Maties Rugby Club helps out with a new garden shed.

We also owe a very special mention of our dedicated Board Members who contribute with their time, personal contributions, volunteering and also introducing new friends to become “Friends to the Safe House” by contributing monthly with financial aid.

Would you like to become a Friend of the Safe House by contributing just R100 per month? Click here.

For more information about making a donation, click here.

Volunteers, click here .