Cape Town – A NGO has entered into an agreement with a Citrusdal farmer to use a portion of the land on his citrus farm to build second-stage housing for women who are victims of gender-based violence (GBV).
The NGO 1000 Women Trust will also embark on an ambitious project to build a training centre on the farm which will serve as an empowerment hub for the women.
The project is the brainchild of Tina Thiart, founding member of 1000 Women Trust.
The trust provides solidarity to women, amplifies the voices of activists and advocates for change that can end GBV and femicide.
The trust does this through projects, grants, training and fund-raising initiatives to ensure that women and girls are empowered, inspired, educated and equipped for daily life.
“I am committed to assist victims of GBV who were housed at shelters, but after their rehabilitation were forced because of economical reasons to return to the home of the perpetrator, or the home of their mother-in-law, with their former husband staying just around the corner,” Thiart said.
“The objective of the second-stage housing is to provide accommodation to survivors of domestic violence ready to break away from the cycle of abuse.
“Staying in these houses is seen as a stepping stone towards victims achieving a more stable and peaceful living free from abuse. Second-stage housing is affordable housing solutions for vulnerable women survivors of GBV,” Thiart added.
GBV in South Africa has been described by President Cyril Ramaphosa as the country’s second pandemic.
In the 2019/2020-period, a total of 2 695 women were murdered by their intimate partners, which means a femicide is committed every three hours.
From October to December 2020, 12 282 women were raped in South Africa.
“The farmer has donated the 80 hectares of ground on his farm to 1000 Women Trust so we can build second-stage homes for about 200 women, who will then be able to work in the food-processing industry on the farm.
“Not only will they be employed, but there will also be transport for their children to schools nearby. We also plan to facilitate the building of a training centre on the farm with the assistance of the farmer, to empower women who are victims of GBV,” Thiart said.
Thiart, a tireless gender activist committed to combating GBV in South Africa over the past two decades, was one of the founders of 1000 Women Trust.
On her 65th birthday on April 1, she has identified finding secondary housing for victims of GBV as one of her goals for the next five years.