YOUNG WOMEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
YWCA-SA, just like most Non-profit (NPO’S) was not spared from the devastating consequences of COVID 19 of financial embattlement. Secondly since the majority of our members are in the risk category, meetings were impossible except through WhatsApp and e-mail. We were at infant stage of enticing and engaging young women as you may have noted pre and during World Council in 2019 and a few were beginning to appreciate the value of the Association when the interruption began. Despite all these challenges it is not doom and gloom as the report will reveal.
- YWCA UMTHATHA
YWCA Umthatha Women’s Support Centre (UWSC) Has been running a Masiphunge (Masiphunge mean let us drink together) program since 2018. It is a program where women sit around the table to discuss women’s issues especially GBVF related ones. It is operational in six (6) villages around Umthatha. It was started out a donation of scones, tea and transport to one village from a benefactor. It has grown from that to six villages.
Recent highlights are that:
- The program is now operated on NDA funds and men in one village have requested that such as program be organised for them so that they can discuss men issues around GBVF;
- POWA had advertised the partnership with GBVF organisations on Facebook and UWSC applied. Two organisations in Eastern Cape were chosen, that is YWCA UWSC and the organisation in Jeffrey’s Bay. On 30 March 2021 MOU was signed by POWA and UWSC. We are hopeful that the partnership established will put our program on the limelight.
The UWSC pledged to show solidarity with victims of GBV. It was observed that the system and the community rallies around the victim up to the conviction of the perpetrators, thereafter the victim, no matter how bruised and scarred, she is left to her own devices. It was with this resolve that UWSC set out to look up one of its very first clients at the organisation’s Place of Safety. The management and caregivers found this lady (in the middle with a shawl) glowing and beautiful despite her tragic history and current tribulations she narrated to them.
To give a background to her circumstances, an altercation with her spouse ended up with the man chopping off both her hands. The shawl, she has on, has become her signature attire as it keeps her stumps from the inquisitive stairs of the public. The husband after serving the seven (7) years jail term for this atrocious deed, he came back and demanded that she goes back to serve her spousal duties as he has paid for her hands by serving 7 years jail term. We met with her when she sought refuge at our Place of Safety running away from a further stint of victimization. Her story is long but what comforted the UWSC team is that she is a survivor.
- The office of the Premier of Eastern Cape in partnership with the Department of Social Development (DSD), National Development Agency (NDA) and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) presented UWSC with an award in recognition of the good work, dedication and commitment in the effort to fight COVID19.
UWSC (YWCA) celebrated International Tea Day on 21 May 2021 with young women over a cup of tea and scones. Each young women were gifted with coffee mugs, sweets, space cards and POWA reading material. Furthermore, painful past stories of how GBV affected young women, anger management strategies and how to handle families that contribute to secondary victimization were shared.
The region which is the headquarters of YWCA-SA is faced with financial challenges due to Covid. The student residence is still vacant as students are attending tutorials virtual. However, proposals are continuously forwarded to funders. Furthermore, the two Early Childhood Development Centres and Stimulation Centre for the Disabled Children have started to operate from February 2021.
Two of Gauteng YWCA young women (Lindiwe Myeza and Michelle Tehedy) are given the opportunity to participate in training and advocacy around African region on SRHR and Mental Health offered by World YWCA and YWCA Kenya. The invitation was pre-empted by the video on Violence Against Women Michelle organised. Due to Covid 19 pandemic the training had to be convened online. A group chat was formed whereby ideas were shared in order to gain more knowledge and for networking on a larger scale
New partnerships with schools, Soweto Basketball Academy and other organisations sharing similar objectives were established.
Partnership focuses on:
- SRHR and Mental Health workshops at schools. The office request donations of sanitary pads and sanitisers and distribute them bi-monthly.
- Sharing of ideas, compliance documents required by funders, fundraising talks and referral of youth to participate in sporting activities most especially basketball because the facility is in good condition, the trainers are always available and most young girls participate and excel (track record of the academy says it all).
Furthermore, Michelle was approached to participate in the Photovoice online workshop, the objective of the workshop was to teach youth on the importance of storytelling through photography and fundamentals of taking professional photographs with symbolic meaning. The report and certificate will be attached.
YWCA Soweto club partnered with Lindi Myeza Foundation and pilot a two-pronged programme for Tri-Ys, that is after care programme and art, with the aim to assist with homework from Monday to Friday, provide afternoon meals and identify the participants skills and potential in order to groom them to be leaders. Currently there are nine participants and they come from homes where parents are unemployed. The team will be meeting with schools to formalise partnership so that both parties can be able to track progress of the participants in the programme.
The project was supposed to run-on daily basis from morning to afternoon during winter break as more activities were organised, but due to escalating number of Covid 19 cases all aftercare programme activities are suspended.
An organisation named Volunteer Minister invited Gauteng YWCA to do the tools for life training with them. The program is accredited and comprises of 19 online courses which are, Technology of study, Components of understanding, Tools for the work place, Communication, Integrity and honesty, Basics of organizing, The dynamic of distance, How to resolve conflicts, The cause of suppression, Solutions for a dangerous environment, Fundamentals of public relations, Targets and goals, Assist for illness and injuries, Marriage, The emotional tone scale, Answers to drugs, Children, Ethics and conditions, Investigation. This is 3 hours training per course, and each trainee will need to have a smart phone as these courses are online. (WIFI provided).
The first group was supposed to start on the 9 July 2021. The first course requires contact session thus all the trainings are suspended due to the number of Covid 19 cases escalating in the province.
Limpopo YWCA convened advocacy workshop on GBV. The facilitator was the Chief Director of Social Development of the province. Attendance was good considering the Covid conditions.
NELSON MANDELA METROPOL (PORT ELIZABETH)
South Africa just like other countries has been devastated by COVID. Nelson Mandela Metropole (Port Elizabeth) is faced with resurgence which seems more potent than the first wave. The NMM YWCA region identified vulnerable community members and provides relief by serving nutritious soup at community level including the nursing mothers at clinics to avert malnutrition. They raise funds through selling clothes they donate and collect from benevolent people. Proceeds used to buy ingredients for the soup. Some of the clothes are given to those who are in need.
As the founder or sponsoring body KZN North continues to play a significant role in the activities of the YWCA Special school. The principal is a paid-up member of the YWCA and continues to maintain healthy relations with the association. The YWCA executive is encouraged to be visible in the school and participates in most of their events.
With the help of the principal and staff, YWCA once again is able to hire out the school grounds for income generating projects e.g., poultry farming. The association owes the success of the project to the support it derives from the school as it is their major market. Furthermore, Icembe Medical Company has once again this year given the association a sponsorship and enabled it to reach out to the poorest of the poor in the community and to provide food security. The association is able to provide 10 needy families with basic food stuffs. Part of the donations has helped to sustain the poultry project which is the major fund-raising project.
The school is a model and performs exceptionally well in all spheres be it in sport, music entertainment and cultural activities. The school is run exceptionally well and is the best in the province in comparison to other schools of its kind. It is the role model and the pride of not only the YWCA alone but of the Department of Education in KZN as well. The school continues to keep the YWCA flag high in the area.