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Meet our Board Members

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Safe House, like all registered NPO’s, has a board of individuals who help make decisions about its day to day running and future. This is not an easy task, but our Board Members really but the ‘COMMIT’ back into ‘COMMITTEE’ and we are grateful for their continued support. This post is dedicated to them, who most often work behind the scenes, but without whose contribution, the success of Safe House would not be possible.

Meet some these special angels put on earth to help those in need.


Adri Muller joined the board in September 2016 as treasurer, but was already been a volunteer as Safe House, using the skills from her job as a financial wizard to teach the women at Safe House how to budget.

What has your involvement with SH taught you about yourself?

We have so many things to be thankful for!

 If you could grant SH one wish, what would it be?

Enough funding so that the Safe House can focus on helping those women and children in need and not have to show any victim of abuse away.



Liezel van Beek has been on the Safe House board for eight years already. She is the Secretary and is also part of the Financial committee.

What has your involvement with SH taught you about yourself?

When I started off as a volunteer at the Safe House it was with the intention of getting involved and giving something back to the community. Very soon however I realised that the Safe House is giving me much more in return. Give and you shall receive, as they saying goes.

What message would you like to give to the broader public about SH?

If you are looking for an organisation where you can contribute your money or time and know that it will be well spent, look no further. Safe House Stellenbosch is in the business of changing and saving lives, not only of the women and children in their care, but also of each individual that comes in to take part in this process. There is much need and much work to be done and there are many ways in which you can contribute. Every little bit helps. You can start by arranging a visit – you’ll be surprised at how quickly you will feel at home.

If you could grant SH one wish, what would it be?

I would love to see the Safe House receiving enough financial support so that it can expand its services to accommodate all the requests for residency received on a monthly basis. It is heartbreaking to think how many women and children have to be turned away because there aren’t enough resources to take in more residents. And with the shocking statistics of violence against women and children in our country it is not difficult to think what kind of circumstances those victims are trapped in without the help of organisations like Safe House Stellenbosch.



Carin Nel has been part of the founding members since 2003, when her prayer group started praying for a place of safety for women and children trapped in domestic violence. She officially joined the Safe House board since the inception of the NPO in 2006.

What’s the most challenging part of being part of the organisation?

The fact that we are working with broken people who needs restoration and that the system don’t allow us enough time and freedom to always do what we think is best for each resident. Also when a resident chooses out of weakness and hurt to leave the Safe House before she is ready to fend for herself out there in the community. It breaks my heart to know that person will not make it on her own humanly speaking. Also when the children cannot go to school or kindergarten because of the short time spent at the Safe House.

What’s the most challenging part of being part of the organisation?

The fact that we are working with broken people who needs restoration and that the system don’t allow us enough time and freedom to always do what we think is best for each resident. Also when a resident chooses out of weakness and hurt to leave the Safe House before she is ready to fend for herself out there in the community. It breaks my heart to know that person will not make it on her own humanly speaking. Also when the children cannot go to school or kindergarten because of the short time spent at the Safe House.


Gordon Reid is the Chairman and has been part of Safe House since 2009. He decided to dedicate some of time now in his retirement years to volunteer. He is a man passionate about the community and volunteering.

What’s the most challenging part of being part of the organisation?  

It is very difficult to do fundraising….it often feels like it is always the same people stepping up to assist. Then also the fact that abuse is real but have little public support.

What has your involvement with Safe House taught you about yourself?

The Safe House needs the support of the community.



Would you like to get involved in Safe House? We are always looking for volunteers and donations.

You can also support us on a monthly basis by giving just R100 per month – here’s how you become a Friend of the Safe House.


Why we need more men helping to fight abuse

Posted in Articles

We are not born knowing what hate and discrimination is. The behaviour is something we learn. Our parents, the movies we watch, music we listen to and the environment we live in, all play a role.


“Your input becomes your output”


Most abusers have gained experience from being abused by their parents or witnessing an act of abuse on somebody else. Growing up, this type of behaviour is then seen as something normal and the emotional scars are carried with them for the rest of their lives. Eventually this affects their own personal relationships. Instead of being abused they become the abuser, giving them a sense of power and a feeling of control.


Similar behaviour can be seen in public, where a perpetrator zero’s in on somebody they see as being vulnerable.  They target a woman or an elderly person and see it as an opportunity to take advantage of them.


This story happened not so long ago in Cape Town and depicts exactly what happens in our society.  How women, children and the elderly are seen as weak and therefore an easy target for many types of crimes, including abuse and violence. Read more here.


Besides the person actually committing the crime, why do other men or bystanders stand and do nothing?


Fear is a big factor, but I think in today’s society we have lost our sense of community. You don’t know that person who needs help, why should you offer assistance. Many times it is the the institutions and authorities who fail at protecting the victim. Nothing gets done or everybody looks the other way because the person responsible for the abuse is a prominent figure in society.


Another scenario, married women look to their husbands for protection, but many women suffer abuse and humiliation from their spouses. A good example is, Bafana Bafana striker Marks Maponyane. He was found guilty of assaulting his wife. Just like normal public (Jan Publiek in Afrikaans) any public figure who transgress and are found guilty of violence and abuse should be held accountable and suffer the full extent of the law.


Men should seek help and avoid crimes of violence towards women. Read more to see what else the SA Civic Organization or SANCO had to say about this issue.


Issues about violence and abuse are on the rise every day you watch or read the news.


The internet and social media have also become a place where people feel they can say whatever they want, because of many who don’t raise their voices. Many times on social media and other platforms there are no consequences to their actions. Cyber VAW (Violence Against Women) is a real problem in our society today. Organisations for Women’s Rights needs the communities to stand together and form campaigns to get networks and governments to take this issue seriously.


Why do we need more men fighting abuse? The more men who stand together and get involved against abuse, the more the light is shined on the problem. Bringing a conscious awareness to the issue can be the beginning of moving towards ending the cycle of abuse.


The best method to break the cycle of abuse is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Get the issue of abuse at its roots, at home and with the youth. Men and parents together, teaching their son’s how to properly treat women and show respect to all people. Bring awareness to the situation, getting everybody to acknowledge that any form of abuse is not okay. Early education is important in helping young boys and girls develop healthy relationships. Awareness about the issue should start at home and extend into the community, through media and other forms to develop an effective prevention programme.


Men can become involved in the community by supporting drives such as Safe House’s Painted Nail Campaign. The campaign involves 16 Days of awareness that focuses on gender based violence and abuse. This is held each year from the 25 November to the 10 December. Men paint a single nail as a conversation starter to show support of the cause. In Australia men and boys actually take an oath to never remain silent about violence against women and children.


Try to teach boys not to be involved in promoting sexist behaviour by objectifying or stereotyping women. We need men who are seen as leaders of the community to stand up and break the silence. The answer is to take action and not to not let abuse be ignored and allowed to continue.


Safe House is a place of safety for women who are fleeing domestic violence. As a registered NPO, we look to the public for financial support. Please consider becoming a Friend of Safe House and commit to donating just R100 per month to help us further our work.

Keen to volunteer? Click here.


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!

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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.