Phola Mama (Women and girls)
“The empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description.”
The programme seeks to address the effects of violence, crime and abuse on women and girls. The organisation provides mobile counselling services to women in vulnerable communities in Diepsloot, Zandspruit and Cosmo city. PHOLA identifies meeting points with women needing mental health, psychosocial and empowerment services through churches, schools, community centres etc. Women accessing psychosocial interventions become part of PHOLA family community structures called safe spaces for ongoing support and empowerment.
In the safe spaces women come together to:
- Discuss issues affecting them in their communities
- Develop leadership and enable collective power of women and girls to discuss harmful practices and cultural taboos that affect them
- Support women living with HIV
- Support women with disabilities
- Unlock access to economic, social, political, and cultural opportunities to fulfil their potential and actively contribute to the development of their community and country
- Participate in spaces where women, and girls become champions of
- their rights and their lives.
- Create lasting change in their lives
- Achieve justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom on issues related to
- Discuss sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
PHOLA is also working on putting up a women’s shelter to provide safety and protective services for vulnerable women and their children who reside in Cosmo City, Diepsloot and Zandspruit. The shelter will be strategically located in Cosmo city but will accommodate women and their children from the neighbouring informal settlements. These communities experience high levels incidences of violence and crime against women and children. The shelter will accommodate those who wish to separate or escape violent relationships. Such people will be admitted at the Shelter from between 2 weeks to 6 months where there will receive comprehensive psychosocial and life skills interventions provided by trained lay and expert professionals.