Hope for abuse victims

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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 Picture: 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.”

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