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New Social Worker at Safe House

Posted in Articles

Like every organisation, Safe House goes through seasons and changes. Saying goodbye to our resident social worker, Blanche is tough. She’s been like family and we are sad to see her go, but so proud of her for taking a big step to further her career. We wish her the very best.

Young, vibrant Carla Senekal is our newly appointed social worker and we are thrilled to welcome her into the Safe House fold.

We interviewed her so that everyone could get to know her too! Read the interview.



Carla Senekal, our new social worker

Why did you decide to become a social worker?

I grew up in a home where my parents were a place of safety. From a small age I was exposed to children who were given up for adoption, as well as people in need. I always knew that I wanted to help restore people’s lives. I have a heart for people and to speak up for those that can’t speak for themselves. Social work is where the “shoe hits the tar” – it’s a hands on work, with the reality.  I want to change the root of the problem and help to change people’s lives through art, play and creativity. I have decided to take the Social Worker road, because I want to bring hope, knowledge and skills to those in need and to be the voice for people who can’t speak for themselves. 


What drew you to apply for the position at Safe House?

The first thing that caught my attention was the fact that it was Christian based. I feel that we are God’s hands and feet on the earth, we can do the basics, therapy and give love, support and understanding, but only God can  heal from the inside out. The fact that I can support and help with the healing process, through creativity, craft, play and just being there drew me to this position at the Safe House.


What difference do you hope to make?

I would like to influence and change the women and children’s view of the future and to give them hope. I would like to show them what real love is, and learn them, that there is a plan for their life, and that it is a good and wonderful plan.

Do you have any hobbies, what are they?

I like the outdoors and horse riding. I like to be creative and do anything to explore with new projects and creative ideas. I like to do gardening renovations.  Coffee dates are definitely also one of my favourite pastimes and spending time with friends and family.


Where’s your happy place?

The outdoors, in nature, with friends or family.


What healthy coping mechanisms do you advise people to use when they are stressed?

Don’t keep it in side, if you feel like crying- cry, talk- talk or write- write- don’t keep it to yourself and  bottle it up. Do something you love to do, if it is cleaning, cooking, drawing etc., and do it. Give yourself time to heal, by doing the things you love.


 Do you have a super power?


Not only to the moon and look at our beautiful world and stars, BUT… to Fly over traffic jams:-)

Are you a coffee or tea person?



White chocolate or dark chocolate?

Dark chocolate


Is there a quote / saying that best describes your life’s philosophy?

Every new season of your life will be an opportunity for you to learn and grow. Don’t celebrate the good without celebrating the bad because they both work together to prepare you for the next season of your life –  Theresa Lewis.


What is the best advice you have ever received?

Be faithful in the little things. 


Thank you, Carla!



We need your green fingers on Mandela Day, 18 July!

Posted in Articles

As many of you may know, Safe House has steadily over the years been renovating some of its spaces to keep up with it’s evolving needs. Not only do we require more rooms and space to accommodate more women and children, we’ve also added a play therapy room for the kids – read more here.


“Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.” – Nelson Mandela


Recently our building project got under way, and now where a huge container stood on our lawn for more than 5 years, we have an ugly patch of ground – what to do? As we already have a veggie garden out back, we’d love to start a garden, just for the pleasure of having some beautiful flowers and plants – but we need your help!


Join us on 18 July, as we dig in the dirt and get our hands dirty and our ROSE garden underway.


“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela


18 July is Mandela Day, a day we strive to do something meaningful. Planting a garden seems fitting. Here at Safe House we confronted with the ugliness of life on a daily basis. We see women who have lost their dignity and feel worthless, but just by being at our doorstep means that they have taken a major step, been brave enough, to leave. We would like the garden to serve as a reminder that there is still beauty in the world. That growth is possible and that they too will blossom again.


Let’s garden together and bring beauty back in the lives of the Safe House Women!

Date: Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Time: From 9:00

Please call us 021-8832574  for directions if you don’t know where we are


What to bring

  • Gardening equipment for creating beddings, forks, spades all sizes
  • Gloves
  • Sun hat
  • Gardening shoes
  • Watering cans


Plant donations

  • Roses, all varieties in shades of pink and white
  • Butterfly bushes
  • Coral bells (bulbs)
  • Salvia bushes
  • Yarrow plants
  • Gaillardia
  • Bee balm plants


Bedding preparations

  • Bone meal
  • Compost / fertilizers


Safe House Stellenbosch is a safe haven for women fleeing domestic violence. We rely on donations and volunteers, if you you would like to get involved, please email us:


Your Company Can Donate to Safe House – Here’s How

Posted in Articles

Did you know that if your company becomes a Friend of the Safe House, the company will get issued a section 18A tax certificate for their contribution for the year which is directly deductible from their annual tax owing.

What you need to know about the section 18A tax certificate

Section 18A allows taxpayers to make a deduction from their taxable income when they make donations to certain organisations, this includes businesses and corporations / companies.

NOTE: A donation will only qualify for a deduction if it complies with the following requirements listed under section 18A:

  • The donation must be made to an approved PBO (Public Benefit Organisation) that has status under section 18A (commonly referred to as donor deductible status).

Safe House Stellenbosch is a registered PBO.

  • The PBO must use the donation to carry out a public benefit activity listed under Part II of the Ninth Schedule of the Income Tax Act. Alternatively, the PBO must provide funds to a PBO carrying on such activities.
  • The donation must have been made bona fide, that is: in good faith, and should not be a payment for services which the organisation has rendered to the taxpayer.
  • The donation can either be in cash or kind, but not in the form of a service, and
  • The donation cannot exceed ten percent of the taxpayer’s taxable income. If it exceeds 10 percent the excess amount will not qualify for a tax deduction.

tax deductible donations


Donors, especially corporate donors, prefer to make donations to PBOs with section 18A status as the value of that donation would be deductible from their company’s taxable income.


How is the benefit claimed?

When receiving the donation, Safe House issues a receipt to the donor. Donors can claim the tax deduction from SARS when submitting their tax returns by attaching the 18A receipt received from the PBO.

You can also become a Friend of Safe House in your personal capacity, and get tax benefits – read more here.


Safe House Stellenbosch is a safe haven for women fleeing domestic violence. You can get involved by Volunteering or making a Donation.


Does your age influence how you view charity?

Posted in Articles

You have to agree, the world we lived in in the sixties looks nothing like 2017. Almost everything has changed, evolved – even the way we view charity and how we give. The experiences, attitudes, behaviours, habits and expectations of each generation differs considerably. Here are some interesting facts about how each generation sees the significance of their charitable contributions.


Baby Boomers

A baby boomer is a person born between 1946 and 1964. It was a period in which certain countries’ economies and populations boomed.


Facts about baby boomers


  • Starting around 2011 and ongoing into the next couple of years, boomers are hitting the retirement age of 65
  • This generation is independent and self-assured
  • Baby boomers are living longer than before
  • The baby boom generation is one of the most lucrative markets which is often overlooked
  • Many in this generation now have the time and finances to enjoy life and they know what they want: a quality lifestyle
  • They have more time to invest into charitable organisations and causes


Baby boomers are generally more generous than other generations, but are at a stage in their lives where they have money and more time to donate. Statistics show that baby boomers donate almost twice as much as the younger generations and are therefore found to be the majority of charitable donors. They are also more likely to commit to paying recurring donations on a yearly or monthly basis.

Generation X

Generation X follows on from the Baby Boomers, typically ranging from early to mid 60’s and ending in the late 70’s early 80’s.

Facts about generation X

  • Increases in divorce and many working mothers, causing this generation to be more independent and adaptable
  • Generation X are smaller in number than the Baby Boomers
  • They more volunteer driven compared to other generations
  • They are the first generation to be raised in the age of postmodernization – a period of economical development and cultural change


Generation X individuals will most likely be the ones to give money as the main support to their cause of choice. They might also still be trying to figure out what they care about and where they would like to give their support.

Millennials ( Generation Y)

There are no precise dates, but researchers say this generation ranges from children born between the early 80’s to about 2002. The Millennial generation will be the ones replacing the Baby boomers as they retire.


Facts about Millennials

  • Millennials earn about 20% less than their parents
  • The average student debt doubled from generation X to the Millennials
  • Ambitious and self-reliant, but more likely to live at home with their parents
  • Familiar with digital technologies and are active on their phones. They will respond well to text messages and social media
  • Millennials are more likely to buy a product where a portion of the proceeds goes to a charity
  • They feel more comfortable donating via a website


At Safe House we rely heavily on donations, and are grateful that we are supported by all the generations. Our biggest donations campaign runs all year, and it’s called Friends of the Safe House.


Friends of the Safe House commit to donating just R100 per month, which they do via bank stop order. This gives the Safe House enough cash flow to keep the day to day expenses under control. Since we are a registered NPO, we are provide section 18A tax certificates to our donors at the financial year end, so that they can get a tax rebate for their generosity.


Interested in becoming a Friend of the Safe House? Click here.


Our second biggest drive for the year is Paint Show Tell in lieu of 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. During this time, we ask our supporters to wear a painted nail as a conversation starter to talk about the harsh reality of gender based violence. The donations we receive during this period goes a long way to helping the women we take care of to get on their feet again.


Read more about Paint Show Tell here.


If you would like to support Safe House by becoming a donor, click here. Volunteers, click here.









Posted in Articles

Did you know that your donation to Safe House Stellenbosch, as a company or as an individual, qualifies as a tax deduction? This means that you will receive a 10% rebate at the end of the financial year.

Safe House, unlike some charitable organisations, is a registered Not for Profit (NPO) Public Benefit Organisation (PBO), which means that it can issue the Section 18A Tax Certificate.

The Section 18A Tax Certificate allows you to claim back your donation from SARS at the end of the year. In a nutshell, your donation will not really cost you anything BUT will make a huge difference on the lives of the women and children who are seeking shelter from domestic violence.

So what do you need to do?

  1. Decide how much money you would like to donate. It could be one lump sum or a small monthly amount that adds up over a 12 month period.
  2. Make sure that the amount is not more than 10% of your taxable income as the deduction is only valid on 10% of your taxable income.

TIP: Friends of the Safe House donate just R100 per month (or a little more) by setting up a recurring stop order their bank accounts.

  1. You will receive a receipt which you will need at the end of the tax year. So keep it.
  2. Notify Safe House of any change of address or particulars before financial year end..
  3. Safe House will provide you with a Section 18A Tax Certificate at the end of the financial year.
  4. Submit this tax certificate together with your other tax returns in order to claim your 10% rebate.

Any questions? Please contact us.

donate to Safe House stellenbosch





Why every child needs a loving parent

Posted in Articles

A loving parent, be it a mom or dad, has a unique and crucial role in the lives of their children. Those moments and times when a gentle touch is needed, staying up late at night with a child that is sick, helping them cope with rejection and helping them find their place in the world. Defining their child’s strengths and helping them grow in these areas. There are challenging tasks in the best of circumstances, so you can imagine how hard it must be when the home is an unsafe and volatile place due to domestic violence.

But, every child needs a loving parent, and while we recognise that many dads fulfill this role for their kids, we know of many broken women dig deep and find immense strength to rise above their circumstances for the sake of their children.

As individuals kids need to be nurtured, but there are certain common needs that universal to children worldwide, and it’s here where mothers often put their children’s needs above their own.

In this post we want to put the spotlight on our mothers, who play a special role in family ecosystem. 

Instinctively mothers provide for their children’s needs.

  • Every child needs to be nurtured: Mothers can give much care and nurturing, this enables a child to grow and develop. Our souls flourish when we are being nurtured and cared for.
  • Every child needs a mother who meets not only physical needs, but spiritual and emotional needs. Talking, listening and just being there when a child needs you. To provide support and understanding when they need it. A child needs to know that they are a priority in your life.
  • Moms provide love and care which is important early on in life and can later mean more confidence in other relationships.
  • Security: Every child needs to feel safe and be able to trust that their needs will be met. When a child is scared or lonely they should know that they can always turn to mom.  A mother providing love, trustworthiness and belonging will help the child to develop high self-esteem, to express emotions more easily and to be more socially competent. Mothers provide boundaries and discipline. Being there during disappointments and failures.
  • A child’s uniqueness. Every child has their own unique personalities, a mother knows embraces and celebrates their unique qualities. A child needs to feel accepted just as they are.
  • Love: Being generous with your affection, giving more hugs and laughter. Moms can create homes filled with peace and love so that this can carried over to the next generation.
  • A mother and child have a one of a kind connection. A maternal bond as well as a bond formed by time, commitment, love, caring and patience. A mother can create an emotional connection with their child, knowing that mom is a safe place to come when needed.


Being a parent is hard, it’s a 24 hours day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year job – forever. We salute all parents, but because it’s Mother’s Day Month, we especially play tribute to the mothers who play their part with grace despite hardships. You were chosen, remember that.



There are times when only a mother’s love

Can understand our tears,

Can soothe our disappoints

And calm all of our fears.

There are times when only a mother’s love

Can share the joy we feel

When something we’ve dreamed about

Quite suddenly is real.

There are times when only a mother’s faith

Can help us on life’s way

And inspire in us the confidence

We need from day to day.

For a mother’s heart and a mother’s faith

And a mother’s steadfast love

Were fashioned by the angels

And sent from God above.

–Author Unknown


Safe House Stellenbosch is a shelter for abused women. If you want to support the work we do, please consider making us a permanent beneficiary on your banking portfolio and donating just R100 per month. We are a registered NPO – and every cent makes a big difference in the lives of the women and children who find themselves under our roof.

We also welcome volunteers and donations.