Victim empowerment comes to Bathurst

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The Ndlambe Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) and Family Forum launched a successful 16 Days of Activism campaign for no violence against women and children at a packed Bathurst community hall on Tuesday, 29 November.

PROTECTING CHILDREN: Child Welfare representatives, Rowene Johnston, Ndlambe’s VEP chairperson, George Petzer, Secretary of the board, Gladys Hani and social auxiliary worker from the Ndlambe Links Royal house, Zelda Masimla with children from Helping Hands Activity Centre in Ekuphumleni (their faces are blurred to protect their identity). Picture: SUPPLIED

This was their first community outreach programme which followed the Provincial launch of the 16 Days campaign that was held in Alexandria on Friday, 25 November.

“[The launch] was a huge success and well attended by most stakeholders,” said VEP chairperson, George Petzer. All civil, government and non-governmental (NGO) organisations based in Bathurst attended the launch, including Nemato Change A Life members from Port Alfred. 

Before the launch, the organisers embarked a door to door awareness campaign on Monday, 28 November, educating residents about their rights and how to fight gender based violence (GBV). During this campaign, they also handed out pamphlets with emergency contact numbers for GBV victims. “The door to door campaign was well received by all [the residents we] interviewed. More than 60% of respondents did not know their full rights as victims,” said Petzer.

Ndlambe’s VEP forum have committed themselves to do a follow-up visit in Bathurst early next year due to the increase of GBV cases reported in the area. Nevertheless, Bathurst police were praised for their positive contribution and work they do relating to the fight against GBV. 

The key message driven at the launch was that children must be protected. “Mutual respect is the foundation to start fighting this evil in our societies,” said Petzer to applause from the packed hall of people ready to make a difference.

Ndlambe VEP executive members will be visiting Kenton on Sea for their final community support meeting of the year at the town hall tomorrow, December 9. This will be marking the end of their 16 days campaign and also commemorating World Aids Day.

All members of the community were invited to attend the event at 10am. 

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