PHOLA NPO has a staff compliment of (22) and provides psycho-social services through narrative therapy interventions in Cosmo city, Diepsloot and Zandspruit and surrounding areas in Johannesburg.
The personnel comprise of psychologists, social workers, auxiliary workers, and volunteers. In our fight against gender-based violence Phola is embarking on a women’s shelter project for abused women and girls in Johannesburg North.
According to UN- WOMEN Organisation, globally 243 million women and girls were abused by an intimate partner in the past year.
Meanwhile the Social Development Department said government funding for shelters was insufficient, but it could not fight the scourge of violence alone.
Why is Phola opening a Shelter home?
Phola is responding to the South African government’s clarion call that it needs stakeholders to make sure that every South African lives in free and safe country. This comes after the Commission for Gender Equality released report in 2019, on the state of shelters in SA. It found inadequate funding was crippling the fight against gender-based violence. The department acknowledges the challenge of inadequate funding and unit-cost disparities in various provinces as mentioned in the report.
CGE chairperson Tamara Mathebula said at the release of the report in Johannesburg that funding for shelters was not enough at all.
CGE commissioner Nthabiseng Moleko added: “Women found in shelters usually stay in abusive relationships because, primarily, they are dependent on the perpetrators. They stay in these dysfunctional relationships and their lives are at risk.”
The CGE disclosed the following about a government funded, partly government -funded and independent shelters in province.
- Late payments by social development department to shelters
- Poor infrastructure and security in some shelters
- Lack of transitional housing
- Salaries were not standardized
- Survivors struggled to adapt to normal life.
Another issue exacerbating problem in shelters was that few were in the city centers and some struggled to accommodate women with children. Shelters on average, allowed residents to stay for six months. It has been realized that most of the women were going back to the street with their children.
Phola’s holistic approach is not only about mental health issues, but to establish economic empowerment programs, skills development, capacity building, life skills, and literacy programs for both women and girls during their stay at the Centre.The Shelter Home will be guided by the following values and principles; accountability, empowerment, participation, family-centered, person-centered, community centered and restorative justice.
Phola is appealing for donations either in cash or in kind towards purchase of a house to start a shelter facility.
For those keen to offer a hand of support, please get in touch with Phola Director Mrs. Ncazelo Mlilo. Full contact details provided on the website: www.phola.org