16 Days of Activism: Cape Town-based community activist ventures out of the city to combat GBV
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Cape Town - In the lead-up to the internationally observed 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign, a local Cape Town activist is on a mission to direct much-needed support services to communities in rural parts of the province.
Driven by the motive to uplift and assist disadvantaged communities and victims with little to no support, known community activist Deon Carelse is actively laying the groundwork for relevant government departments to direct support services to areas battling with socio-economic issues that result in disastrous episodes of gender-based violence (GBV) and alcohol/drug abuse.
Carelse, who is at present in Laaiplek, on the West Coast to assist residents who are victims of GBV, reiterated the importance of active and undiluted citizenry in the fight against GBV as the country gears up to participate in the 16 days of activism campaign.
“I have been an activist for as long as I can remember. I’m what you call an on-the-ground activist, because I physically go into the places I’m needed, no matter where they are.
“People from different communities and towns across the province reach out to me on social media or through word of mouth to ask for assistance and I try as best as I can to go and assist. I am part of a network of activists who devote their time to uplifting the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
“We go into the areas no one else wants to, to listen and formulate plans on how best we can help people in need because often times these areas receive little to no service delivery.
“For example, we sometimes come into an area and find that support services at the police are non-existent, no social worker or police are properly trained to deal with victims, and residents are left to their own devices despite being poor and vulnerable.
“In these rural communities like Laaiplek, the focus on socio-economic issues and GBV is fleeting. As we are heading into the 16 Days of Activism, we need to be consistent with our efforts to end GBV.
“We need the government to institute relevant support for these areas and work with active social activists, then only can we make headway in this bitter fight against GBV,” Carelse said.