AID­ING THE ABUSED: HOPE FROM CEN­TRE TURNS VIC­TIMS TO VIC­TORS

Go! & Express - - Front Page - THAN­DEKA NTLONTI

WITH the cur­rent spate of vi­o­lent crimes against women and chil­dren, the Buf­falo Flats White Door of Hope Cen­tre has be­come a very im­por­tant part of the com­mu­nity.

Pre­vi­ously known as the Buf­falo Flats Sup­port Group for Al­co­hol and Drug De­pen­dency, the or­gan­i­sa­tion has been run­ning since 2012 but started fully op­er­at­ing as Buf­falo Flats White Door of Hope in June 2015.

The cen­tre pro­vides coun­selling and sup­port for abused women and chil­dren as young as seven years old. They also do re­fer­rals to rel­e­vant or­gan­i­sa­tions for fur­ther coun­selling.

“Here at Buf­falo Flats White Door of Hope we work with sur­round­ing schools and the com­mu­nity. We go to the schools to pro­vide our coun­selling ser­vices and of­fer sup­port to the chil­dren who come from abu­sive homes,” White Door of Hope project man­ager Shirley An­thony said.

“We are in the process of work­ing with es­tab­lished or­gan­i­sa­tions and bring them on board to work with us.”

The cen­tre, based in Buf­falo Flats Ex­ten­sion (Fyn­bos), stretches its ser­vices from Park­side across to the East Bank.

Their fu­ture plans in­clude women em­pow­er­ment, teach­ing them craft skills to en­able them to be self-suf­fi­cient.

“We would like a big­ger shel­ter, where we can take the vic­tims to and pro­vide shel­ter and food overnight,” An­thony said.

White Door of Hope chair­man Henry Steenkamp said the cen­tre would ap­pre­ci­ate any kind of as­sis­tance, be it spon­sors or do­na­tions, that would en­hance their project and keep it go­ing.

“I want to com­mend our two ded­i­cated coun­sel­lors, Ralda Erica Mlambo and Rene Baatjies, who work so hard with­out get­ting paid. Our goal is to form part­ner­ships with or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Masi­manyane Women’s Sup­port Cen­tre, Ni­cro, Ma­sithethe Coun­selling Ser­vices and the rel­e­vant govern­ment de­part­ments.”

Pic­ture: THAN­DEKA NTLONTI

OPEN DOOR: Buf­falo Flats White Door of Hope Cen­tre staff mem­bers, from left, Henry Steenkamp, Ralda Erica Mlambo, Shirley An­thony and Rene Baatjies wel­come any vic­tim of abuse to visit them for coun­selling or in­for­ma­tion

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