Since my last report relating to the project of the Red Shoe Workshop, we have experienced some amazing changes in the lives of some of those ladies that participated in the workshop.
I would like to actually mention Zoleka Siko. She was the lady that moved out so soon after the workshop, and decided to start up on her own with her children.
Normally, we have found, that as soon as life gets difficult for these ladies on their own, they tend to return to their abusive husbands and give up on the prospect of making life work on their own.
Zoleka is the exception to the rule. She has moved into a better home than the shack that she initially got, and has electricity too.
We have been aiding her as far as possible with furniture and most of the goodies for her kitchen where donated by our bookkeeper, Pauline Edeling.
She is out of her traditional wear that she is supposed to wear as a married Xhosa lady, and is wearing short skirts, makeup and is really looking lovely.
She has got a blush of life that spreads throughout the girls in the centre.
This is one of the cases that makes it worth the effort that we put in to assist them on the road to independence.
Unfortunately, Ursula went back to her husband, and last week, was physically abused so badly that she had to stay at home for a week.
She got back to the centre this morning, and the physical evidence is still very prominent on her face and body. BUT, we will not give up! We will once again, try our best to make her realize that this is NOT normal. After 20 years of abuse, she thinks that she deserves this type of life. With the help of our social workers, we will try to get her to complete her programme with Phambile, the safe haven for battered wives. This is only three months long, and if she successfully can complete it, she should be able to make the life changing decisions necessary.
Thank you all for your support and help with the training of these poor ladies. They need all the funds that can be received as well as the moral support of the people in the world, carrying her in their hearts and in their prayers.
First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sally Scott for the time spent with our participants at the centre. She changed her normal 3 day course to a 4 day course to accommodate the participants realising the need for the extra day.
Our first day was probably the most revealing to both of us. I thought it would be a good idea to give the participants the opportunity to listen to my life story first, thus making it easier for them to open up and share their emotions and experiences without feeling intimidated.
Well, all I can say is that the outpour of pain that we had, was an absolute eye opener.
The Red Shoe workshop is based on the book by Hans C. Anderson, telling the story of the girl with her red shoes, how she made them, lost them and to what extent she had to go to get rid of them in the end.
When I decided on who would have the privilege of participating in the Workshop, the language barrier was the most important aspect that I had to take into consideration. I randomly chose students from the centre, i.e. Afrikaans and English literate persons.
Starting on the first day, we spent the entire day listening to the lives of each of the eight participants. Emotionally it was one of my most exhausting experiences ever. The abuse, poverty, and literal torture that most of these people have suffered was once again, an immense shock to us.
As a result of this workshop, we have one of our ladies in a safe haven from last week, she is leaving the abusive relationship and is receiving treatment. In 2009, he partner physically abused her with a wooden pole and caused bleeding to her brain. She could see no way out, but has taken her first steps to recovery.
The other lady, moved out of her home on Monday this week, into a shack with her three babies, and is starting her life on her own. She is so positive about her future now, and it is an eye opener to see how many of the centre people who participated in this workshop have stood with her during this week. They have been collecting basins for her to wash her babies, and old plates, cups etc. We got a two plate stove for her today, and her new, but difficult journey has begun.
Once again I would like to ask you all to open your pockets, and help a family find peace and security in their short lives on this earth.
God Bless you all.
It is with pleasure that I can once again say that our centre has survived another year. With the rising costs of everything in the last year, we have been blessed with aid from all of you out there, as well as assistance once again from our government. They have been supporting the stipend for the ladies and young girls in our centre.
We have had a new intake in July 2010 of 27 persons. With the strained amount of money available for the running of the centre we have stall been privileged enough to make it every month.
All these persons will have to leave again as soon as the stipend is ended, so the training has been intense and in a few different fields. This will make it easier for these persons to find employment, if any should be available, or to try and get themselves up and running on their own.
The only problem is having the necessary capital to build their own enterprises. Without capital, they can actually not move on to the next step of their training.
This is where we ask of you all to donate a small amount to this cause, and alter someone's life forever.
Seasons greetings and thank you for your support
I would like to give you feedback on Sue Nadia - who was stabbed 3 times and raped last month. She has been put onto ARV's. Had to stop breastfeeding her baby of 18 months. She has been for councilling and I am glad to say, she is back with us today at the centre. The wounds are healing well, but doesnt talk much as yet, the incident only happend three weeks ago. What has made it more difficults has been the major strikes we have been having by the government employees i.e. teachers and medical personnel. There is a major shortage of this very important support at present, and has resulted in everything happening at a much slower pace at the hospitals.
This morning we had one of the young men attacked on his way to the centre, by six thugs. Fortunately he is alright, a bit shaken up, but seems to have everything under control.
Last week one of our foster parent's home was burnt to the ground, allegedly by the 3 foster childrens father. We are trying to get enough money to rebuild this shack, and to replace the furniture inside, eg bedding, beds - actually anything that one could have in such a home has been destroyed.
Please could I ask you to put your hands and hearts out to us and to help these poor people in need. This type of tragedy happens so often. I am, in future, going to keep you updated as much as possible on the happenings in our beautifull town George, South Africa.
It is almost impossible to believe that it is August already. We in South Africa have had a fabulous four months with the preparation for the Fifa World Cup 2010, and then also the great success that we experienced in hosting such a major event. We in George were privileged to have the Japanese team staying at our Fancourt Hotel, and had our people from the centre partake in all the pleasures of watching the games at the Sport facilities that were erected in town. None of the games were played in George, but the spirit of our people was wonderful.
In July we had a new intake of ladies, which are receiving a stipend from our local government as part of a job creation program called Extended Public Works Program. This has made it possible for us to have more students, i.e. 23 at present.
Of our latest intake of students we have tried to take more of the young unmarried women from the Child Welfare’s caseloads. These are mothers that are not able to provide for their children, and the result has been that the children have been removed from their care. This is heartbreaking, but at least one of the ladies went to court yesterday, and the children will be given back to her today at 12pm, because she is now able to provide minimally for them. This is when the joy of helping comes at its best.
We would like to thank all the donors out there that provide for our people. Every donation comes with great happiness, as this makes it possible to train someone, and gives them the privilege of experiencing life, as it should. Their conditions are still a long way from being what they should be, but if their self-confidence and pride is restored, they create their own home improvements with the knowledge picked up from mingling with others.
Fighting poverty, HIV, and lack of education is a long-term project, and we can only hope to try and change this for some of our people.
Thank you once again for all your support, especially to the Global Giving Team with all their help and advice.
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