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Spotlight on Human Trafficking – Interview with a Survivor

Spotlight on Human Trafficking – Interview with a Survivor

 

*Samatha was a victim of human trafficking when she was a teenager. She was a victim of child abuse. The man that abused her was a close and trusted family friend. Samantha was sold for profit into child sex trafficking. Trafficked by the trusted adult who used sexual, and psychological abuse to maintain control over Samantha, she found it very difficult to seek help. Today, Samantha is a survivor of human trafficking who shares her story of healing and how she copes with the lasting effects of her experience. Today, Samantha is a survivor of child abuse and sex trafficking.

 

*Samantha is her alias name.

 

Q: What has it been like speaking out as a survivor of trafficking?

A: It is hard to talk about being trafficked. I still get very emotional talking about my past. I have watched movies about human trafficking and the girls get shipped to another country. I was traffic in my own country and I did not even know I am traffic. I though as myself as only a prostitute. These days I speak to my therapist and share only parts of my past because it is not easy sharing my experiences.

Q: Will you tell us a little bit about your relationship with the man who trafficked you and why it was so hard to break free?

A: The man who trafficked me was like a father figure to me. He was a family friend and was always very kind. He was easy to talk to and I confided in him. I shared with him all my pain and fears and he listened to me and took care of me. I was diagnosed with mental illness and he would take me to appointments at the hospital.

My family was financially benefiting from me working as a sex worker and I felt obligated to keep working. I had one lady friend from church. I was allowed to attend church on Sundays. One Sunday I was crying the whole time and I shared with her that I am working as a sex worker. I was very afraid to talk to her because I knew if I share this to her, my family will not get their money. This is exactly why it was so hard to break free.

human trafficking survivor Safe House Stellenbosch

Q: Will you share with us some of the emotional and physical effects you’ve experienced as a result of your trauma?

A: I was a victim of child abuse. I live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); bipolar, major depression and borderline personality disorder. All of these are a direct result of the trauma I experienced.

Q: After you first escaped, how did you cope?

A: I am enslaved by the post-traumatic effects of my trauma. I did not cope well. I feel a tremendous amount of shame and guilt. I had a lot of sexual urges the first few weeks when I was in the place of safety. I was so used to having a lot of sex that I was craving it. Thankfully, over time and through my work in therapy, I recovered from those overwhelming form of urges.

Q: Will you tell us about your path toward recovery and what’s helped you?

A: My path forward started off very rocky. It took a life-changing turn after entering therapy with a therapist.  Also, meeting other survivors of abuse has been very helpful. The new friendships and support has helped me immensely on my path toward healing.

Q: After someone hears you speak, what do you hope they learn?

A: I want them to know that there is help to overcome and grow past their trauma. I want them to learn that they have a lot of value and self-worth. You might feel worthless to one person, but you are priceless to another.

 

Safe House Stellenbosch is a Not for Profit place of safety for women and their children who escape domestic violence. We would benefit greatly from any contribution you could make. Make a donation. Volunteer.

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Safe House Christmas Wish List

Safe House Christmas Wish List

We Need Your Help: Safe House Christmas Wish List

 

Womens’ shelters, like SafeHouse play an important and vital role in our society. Helping women and children to escape from abuse and domestic violence and providing a safe place for them. A place where they can take refuge and receive the protection and support they need.

 

We are a charitable organization and in order to meet their needs we rely on the general public to provide financial donations. This is not the only way you can help out, as we need many supplies and goods to help the women and children under our care.

 

The Christmas season is also upon us, and it should be a time of fun and cheer, but for many of these families who come to us, are under a lot of stress. Many of the children go without gifts and will not experience the festive season as it should be. We would like to make a difference at Christmas for these women and children. To share the love and Christmas cheer and to bring a smile to their faces. You can help us achieve this!

Shelter Christmas Needs List

  • Christmas tree
  • Christmas decorations
  • Wrapping paper
  • Toys such as balls, children books, colouring books, kokie pens and backpacks
  • Dolls
  • Dresses size small to medium

Baby Needs

  • Nappies size 4 and up
  • Baby shampoo
  • Baby soap
  • Baby laundry soap
  • Baby wipes
  • Bum cream

 

Women Clothing

  • Underwear small to medium
  • Pyjamas
  • Shoes size 1 – 6

Women supplies

  • Shampoo/ Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Hair products (gel, hairspray, etc.)
  • Ethnic hair products (relaxers, moisturizers, etc.)
  • Hair brushes
  • Sanitary pads
  • Towels

Children clothing

  • Underwear sizes small

Linens

  • Towels

 

Food donation and kitchen Products

  • Any kind of red meat for Christmas meal
  • Chicken for Christmas meal
  • Eggs
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Tea towels
  • Dish cloths
  • Sponges

Small Appliances

  • Microwave
  • Brooms
  • Mops

 

Cleaning Supplies (kitchen/bathroom)

  • Disinfectant
  • Dishwasher soap
  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Laundry soap
  • Bleach
  • Toilet bowl cleaners
  • Rubber gloves

 

Food Products

  • Canned Tuna
  • Pilchards
  • Canned fruit (all varieties)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cereals – oats (all varieties)
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Spices (all varieties)
  • Baby food (Cereal & Jars – all ages)

Educational Supplies

  • Prit
  • Scissors
  • Pens
  • Sellotape
  • Books
  • Sharpeners
  • Pencils

Craft Supplies

  • Fabric paint
  •   Paint brushes
  •   Glue
  •   Needles and pins
  •   Embroidery thread
  •   Embroidery ring

 

Any contribution that you can make, would be most welcome.

 

Contact: skills.safehouse@gmail.com

 

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Posted in Articles, Success Stories

What does a social worker do?

What does a social worker do?

Becoming a social worker means that you have a passion for people and wanting to help them. Social workers are there to make a difference in the lives of individuals, families and entire communities.

The role of a social worker is to assist and protect those in need and affected by a crises. They may get involved in cases that have:

  • Any form of abuse: children, women, the elderly
  • All cases of rape
  • Communities, who lack basic medical care, access to a clean water supply and proper schooling. Other Social workers assess needs on a larger scale. They may plan and administer programs and projects in the communities
  • Community social workers help communities This social worker in the community work directly with individuals and the family system as a howl. By conducting a needs assessments and making referrals to resources in the community.

That is where the Safe House comes in, by getting referrals from the community, extended programs, schools act, the Social Worker at the Safe House looks at the criteria of the safe house and if the client fits the criteria.

The social worker at the Safe House then helps to assist with, counselling on individual level, counselling and networking with family members and other interested parties when necessary. Counsel abused women from the community who are not ready to enter the Safe House. Group work in the day and/or evenings for women in the house.

Social workers can provide services in general to help people cope with different problems that occur in everyday circumstances. Then you get social workers with a special skill set and qualification that can also help to diagnose and treat various mental issues that might occur. The job does require that you live in the area or community you are helping or you should be able to travel to the community on a daily basis.

 Social workers safe house stellenbosch

There are many career paths to choose for a social worker

  • Social workers that focus on children, family and schools
  • Medical social workers: dealing with individuals and families with health issues.
  • Substance abuse and mental health
  • Correctional services
  • Therapeutic social workers.
  • Industrial social workers, working more on a business level, with fabrics, companies, educations and counseling in the work place.
  • Statuary social workers- working with foster care, the family as a howl, courts act.

 

To help the community, certain techniques and programmes can be implemented. These techniques can help build the community and help them to develop their own potential and abilities.

 

Techniques such as:

  • Helping the community with development programmes
  • By starting crisis intervention plans
  • Implementing youth programmes
  • Offering counselling and support for abused women through shelter programmes

 

By being a Social Worker in a Safe House environment, you have to do the following;

  • Individual, family and group work counselling
  • The administration of reports, statistics, clients documents, Safe House documents act.
  • To help monitor medical appointments, emergencies and helping to monitor pregnant girls in labor.
  • Statistics and report writing to Social Development
  • Help to plan programs, community projects act.
  • Help to assist women with protection orders and other legal issues, when necessary.
  • To see that all residents needs are met and rights are respected
  • To see that all residents CV’s are updated, help to look for trainings and education opportunity’s as well as job opportunities.
  • Networking with, other projects, organizations in the area.

Carla Senekal, our Safe House Social worker.

Challenges faced by a social worker

Being in this line of work is not easy and there are many difficulties that a social worker will face. There are many “fires” that need to be extinguished. Social workers are so busy putting out fires that they can’t really focus on the root of the problem.

 

  • They have to deal with the crises first hand
  • It is a high stress job that can affect health
  • Social workers have to deal with a range of different communities; this can lead to dealing with language barriers, violence and even in some cases death threats.
  • It can be difficult to sometimes provide services due to limited resources, limited finances and facilities in which to do their work.

 

There may be trials and challenges but the benefits and results outweigh any of the difficulties that may occur. It is all about making a difference in somebody’s life

You can read an interview with our resident social worker, Carla, here.

How does confidentiality work?

In the Safe House we take confidentiality seriously. We consider Confidentiality is the most important for the therapeutic relationship with the client. It helps the client understand that everything she will say will not be exposed.  Through the sharing of information, that the client feels safe, and the social worker can help the client address an issue, concern, or problem the client may be experiencing. As a Social Worker in the Safe House, confidentiality and the explanation around it, is handled in the very first session with our clients. The Social Worker does not only talk about confidentiality verbally, but signs off on it with a legally binding contract.

 

In the Safe House we address three main confidential points

  • The Social Worker X and Client Y will agree that everything they share and discuss during counselling will stay confidential.
  • That Social Worker X will not disclose anything personal that Client Y trusts her with, except if what the client reveals could possibly be harmful to herself or someone else, or, if sharing what the client has revealed with a professional will help me help the client to the best of my ability.
  • Client Y will not disclose anything personal that Social Worker X trusts her with, except if Client Y feel it will negatively affect others or herself, and only then will she disclose it to a staff member or professional.

 

Skills needed to be a social worker

Being a social worker is a demanding job and requires certain emotional and professional skills. A social worker, even after graduating will always be learning new things and skills. You are never too old to learn new skills, and with the help of a Supervisor, some that guides you in the way forward, training and a lot of research and reading your Children’s Act and Bill of Rights, you will have a guideline, to tackle situations in the right and ethical way.

 

Here are a few qualities that you should have to be a good social worker:

 

  • You must be a good listener, a lot of the time as a social worker you need to listen to people.
  • Have a level of emotional intelligence; this includes empathy and sensitivity towards other people and their circumstances.
  • A certain amount of organizational skills are required
  • Being tolerant, dealing with different cultures and people. Having respect for everybody.
  • Able to communicate effectively
  • You have to be able to set boundaries and create a healthy work and life balance

 

 

Social workers: ‘We are not in it for the income; we are in it for the outcome’

– Social Justice Solutions

 

 

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In case you couldn’t make it to our AGM…

In case you couldn’t make it to our AGM…

 

Our annual Safe House AGM was held on 28 September at the NG Wes Church in Stellenbosch. We are thankful that we had quorum for the meeting with more than 25 people in attendance. It was lovely to see our board members, donors, sponsors, staff, volunteers and even some residents in attendance.

Although the meeting prescriptive, this year we wanted to not only present facts, statistics and figures, we also wanted to give our audience some real insight into the day to day happenings at the Safe House. One of our talented residents, “Nita” performed humorous snippets of life in the Safe House, which was applauded by our audience.

 

Reflections

This year we also took a few minutes to look back at how far L’Abrie de Dieu has come since its inception. Various successful campaigns over the years and an ex- resident who is now employed in the Safe House as a House Mother are memorable highlights that remind us about the impact of the work we are doing in the community at large.

Our therapy cat

 

Quality Assurance Audit Results

We are very proud of the fact that our organisation scored 95% in the Quality Assurance Audit done by the Department of Social Development this year. Even though we’ve had a trying year housing 60 victims while losing support staff, we managed to prove that we are not only on the right track with how we run things, but that we are also an example to other shelters. We believe that the thing that drives us to success is the fact that we are always looking for new better ways to serve the victims who find themselves on our doorstep.

We are also pleased to report that our building project reached fruition this year. We got a big financial injection from the National Lotteries Board who donated R500 000 to see the building project through.  We now have 5 extra bedrooms and 2 new bathrooms, with a beautiful Skills Training Facility to better accommodate and empower the growing number of women and children who need a safe haven and upliftment from their domestic violence ordeal.

 

Financials

Our auditor Dennis from Exceed who is also volunteer, explained in person the various expense allocations that the Safe House has and reported that Safe House is financially sound.

We would like to thank each and every person who thought of us and the work we do and opened their hearts and wallets to assist us. Without you, our work would be impossible.

 

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Qualities of a good volunteer – we all have something to offer

Qualities of a good volunteer – we all have something to offer

While you think you may have nothing of value to offer, we at Safe House have learned over the years, that every volunteer, by just making themselves available, makes a huge difference in the lives of women and children who find themselves under our roof.

You could spend time with the women just chatting to them, talking about books, praying with them, teaching them how to budget, doing crafts, sewing, knitting, or even teaching them to cook! Other workplace skills, such as computer literacy, interviewing, CV writing and so on are also much needed.

Here’s an outline of some the qualities that we look for in our volunteers.

Enthusiasm

Being energetic and having a positive attitude can help to motivate yourself and others. Enthusiasm for the cause can also help to nudge others to take action. Being aware of others and treating everybody with respect is important. Helping to support all members of the group can only bring about successful results faster. Enthusiastic people always tend to stir those around them to positive action.

 Flexibility

There are various positions that need filling at a moment’s notice. So volunteering can be a different experience every day, because of the varying needs at any given time. One day you could be packing boxes and the next day driving a lady to court. This type of work requires many skills and a volunteer needs to be prepared to grow and learn from the experience. Gaining a variety of skill sets can be a valuable add on to any resume.

Reliability

You should be able to follow through on your commitment. All charity organisations rely on their volunteers to be successful. Beneficiaries of the organisation – in our case the women and children are looking forward to the volunteers visit. A volunteer should be able to be on time and do their work so that they can produce the best results for the organisation. Punctuality is also a very important thing to learn and can be applied in all life circumstances, it shows your respect for others. Obviously life does happen and things get in the way, but honesty should then be the first policy.

Creative and passionate

Creativity and being passionate about an issue will bring a bit of fun and excitement into the environment. Volunteering can sometimes be stressful and it can be exhausting, creativity just adds that extra spark when needed. Sometimes doing the same thing day in and day out can get a bit boring. Adding some creative flare can brighten things up a bit. We found that a little creativity sparks a wonderful letting out of emotions through art.

Integrity

Work hard and be honest with everybody. You should be able to take responsibility for your work, especially if you did something incorrectly. Know your limits and ask for help when you need it. Volunteering has served as a job referral already for many who have assisted us in the past.

Teamwork

Volunteering involves many workers who are trying to reach the same goals you are. A volunteer should be able to work well in a team. You should be able to follow orders without complaining. If you show initiative you might also be able to grow your leadership skills.

Communication

A volunteer should be able to listen and communicate well. Being able to talk to your fellow co-workers and listen to them attentively can only make things go more smoothly and successfully without misunderstandings.  It is important to also be able to handle constructive criticism where something needs to be improved.

Good organisational skills

Since there is usually so much work to do, it is great to possess some good organisational skills. Tasks just become easier to complete and more manageable. Everybody is not running around and doing their own thing. Working together as a cohesive team will get the job done.

 

Do you still think you’ve got what it takes to be a good Safe House volunteer? Contact us and experience what’s it’s like to make a real difference in someone’s life.

 

 

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CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! FUN-draising for Safe House

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! FUN-draising for Safe House

Here’s how you can fundraise for Safe House

Many people know how trying to raise funds for a charity can be overwhelming and difficult. Trying to make the individual or supporter a fundraiser could be challenging. We as supporters and individuals can do our bit to help out and bring in needed funds and exposure. Fundraising is also best done with help from friends, family and your community to be successful. Here are some great ideas that you can try.

For those who love sport

Entering an event like walking, running or cycling can be great fun. Many of these events support a charity and your joining fee goes towards a charity organisation. Why not make more of a contribution by setting up Facebook page with a donate button and ask for donations from friends and family. Or invite your friend to also like our Facebook page and use our donate button. A fun golfing competition amongst colleagues and friends can also be great way to raise funds. Some people take a step further by creating a challenge like climbing Kilimanjaro to raise funds. Maybe you don’t have to climb a mountain, but think of something you have been wanting to achieve that you can use as a means to raise funds.

Hosting a cook off

Get your friends, family and community together and have a friendly cook off. I think a braai event will go over nicely to most South African’s. You can sell meal tickets or even ask for a competitor fee to raise more funds.

Dinner night

Invite your family and friends over for dinner. Tell them it is in aid of your chosen charity, Safe House and ask for a donation. Make it even more fun by organising a themed dinner party.

Create your own recipe book

Talking about food, many people have recipes they would like to share. Why not make up a recipe book, use your own recipes and ask your friends for some too. Put it together and sell the recipe book to raise funds.

Clean up and pay up

Get the community together for a clean-up. This would be a good online initiative, where every item you pick up or for every bag you fill somebody can donate something. You’re not only raising funds, but improving the environment too.

Have a kid’s sports day

Parents can get together and host a kid’s sports day. Simple events such as a sack race can be done. Sell tickets to everybody who would like to come. This takes a bit more planning, but is a great family idea. Many parents want to make their children aware that there are children in need of support and care, this could be used as a wonderful opportunity to educate them whilst having fun.

Office contest

Do you work in an office? A very simple way to collect some money is to place a container in the office, where everybody can put their change. At the end of the year you should have collected enough money to gift your charity. A good way to get more money is to make it a R5 jar, not just any small change.

Games Night

Bingo, card games, board games and any other game you can think of. Invite family and friends over for some fun and make sure they know it is for a good cause.

Used Book Sale

Many of us have some old books on the shelf. Get your family and friends to also give you their books and sell them to raise some funds.

Online Fundraiser

Most have heard about, ‘the ice bucket challenge’.  Give this a try yourself by asking your family or colleagues at work to perform a silly challenge and to post it online. Share with everybody and especially on our page and ask other to do the same challenge. Accepting the challenge the person will donate a fee to your cause. Hopefully it will go viral, bringing in lots of donations.

Create and sell crafts

Are you the creative type? Do you make, clothes, soaps, candles or anything else? Use this talent to sell your goods to make money and donate some of the profit.

Offering your service

Offer your service to the community for a donation. Take an example, if you are a beauty therapist, offer mini-manicures for a donation. Or give a percentage of your income to every month to your charity.

 

Safe House has ‘Friends of Safe House’ for this very reason and it’s a huge help to our cash flow.

We also have opportunities for Volunteers and a need for Donations, so please do reach out if you want to get involved in a worthy cause.

 

Bake or Yard sale

This is a common way to raise funds. People are always eager to donate in exchange for a piece of fudge or yummy cake.

Hold a contest

Get fundraisers to hold a contest among themselves to see who can raise the most amount of money. The organisation or charity can provide a small reward to the winner.

 

These are only a few ideas and remember, it is important to use social networking to get even more people involved. Please assist us to raise awareness and invite your friends to like our Facebook page.

 

As a charity organisation, we at Safe House hope you will be inspired to use some of these fun ways to raise money for our benefit, a little goes a long way so please never undervalue your contribution.

 

Do you know of any great ideas to raise money? Please let us know!

 

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