TERSHIA Benjamin, founder of Ariela Lioness of God, who has started a toiletry drive to assist the Cravenby Care Centre, which houses victims of GBV. Picture: Supplied Tershia Benjamin
TERSHIA Benjamin, founder of Ariela Lioness of God, who has started a toiletry drive to assist the Cravenby Care Centre, which houses victims of GBV. Picture: Supplied Tershia Benjamin

Survivor starts toiletry drive for GBV shelter

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Sep 6, 2021

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Cape Town - A Cape Town woman, who has been a victim of gender-based violence (GBV), has started a toiletry drive through her non-profit company (NPC), for the Cravenby Care Centre.

The founder of Ariela Lioness of God, Tershia Benjamin, 33, from Belhar, said the aim of the toiletry drive is to assist the centre with much needed items, for the 70 people it currently houses.

Benjamin knows exactly what living in a shelter is like, following her own experience.

“I lived at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for four months, in 2018. I came out of a very dark place and the shelter was the only way out.

“I want to let people know that even though we go through this, there is a way out.

“While at the shelter, I saw the lack of work and entrepreneurial prospects for women. So, to prevent them from going back to the shelters or their abusers, I aim to assist them,” she told IOL on Monday.

The Cravenby Care Centre was established 28 years ago and assists victims of GBV.

Benjamin said she felt the need to assist the centre because, just as her NPC took four years to come to life, the centre was established because of the owner’s love and care for her fellow human beings.

LOCAL non-profit company, Ariela Lioness of God, is appealing for assistance with its toiletry drive, to assist the Cravenby Care Centre, which houses victims of GBV. Picture: Supplied Tershia Benjamin

“I have been trying to get donors and sponsors for this project on board, but I have hit countless stumbling blocks along the way.

“I have reached out to big corporate companies and I have been turned away.

“There are lots of small organisations, who need as much help as the big organisations,” she said.

Benjamin said those willing to contribute to the project aim to make the “day a bit brighter” for those housed at the centre, by assisting them with everyday necessities.

She said those willing to donate can assist in making care packs, which include: any pre-loved bag, drawstring bag or backpack, basic toiletry items, which include soap, toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrushes, a washcloth, sanitary towels, etc, along with shoes, especially for young boys.

“The aim is to do the handover of the items on September 18, however, the project will be ongoing and we are aiming to assist more organisations.

“If possible, we are also seeking long-term partners for our projects,” Benjamin added.

If you would like to assist, you can contact Ariela Lioness of God on 068 554 9635, or visit the organisation’s Facebook page.

IOL

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