The Safe House annual general meeting, held on 22 September in Stellenbosch, opened with some scary statistics. Safe House manager Lee Rossouw reported that,
“Three women are killed every day at the hands of their intimate partner. That’s one every eight hours, and South Africa has a femicide rate five times higher than any other country in the world.”
But if you believe that those are just faceless, nameless statistics, then you are very much mistaken. At Stellenbosch Safe House those shocking records of abuse against women show up at their door on a daily basis. Since its inception in 2006 and opening of its doors in 2008, Safe House has given shelter to more than 400 women and children. Lee went on to explain that Safe House is the only shelter for abused women in the Greater Stellenbosch Municipal District, Helderberg and Overberg region, and so the need for a place of safety far outweighs their capacity to take in everyone who reaches out for help.
“Currently we only have eleven beds, but we have approved plans to expand in the near future – although we are not sure where all the money will come from for the necessary expansions. We have also just learned that with our adding more rooms and beds, we will also need to upgrade our kitchen and are currently busy with that undertaking.”
As a registered non-profit organisation, Safe House relies heavily on funding and donations from the community.
Main contributors to the income of the Safe House in the past year were:
Department of Social Development: 44.98%
Larger contributors >R100 000 per entity: 25.66%
Medium contributors >R10 000 per entity: 19.37%
Small contributors <R10 000 per entity or individual: 9.99%
As you can see from the financial report, nearly 10 % of the Safe House’s income comes from many smaller contributions.
“It’s our goal to grow our Friends of the Safe House initiative, where people donate just R100 or R200 per month. That little bit adds up and goes a long way to sustain our cash flow for basic necessities,” Lee says.
The AGM was also the perfect opportunity to give special acknowledgement to the regular and loyal donors and volunteers, not to mention the staff who work relentlessly and are emotionally invested in every woman who enters the Safe House. To say thank you to her team, Lee gave each one of them a crown as a symbol of their immeasurable worth to the organisation.
The new executive committee was also announced at the meeting.
Safe House’s next awareness campaign will start in November: Paint Show Tell. Click here to learn more.
The meeting was closed with these inspirational words by John Wesley.