A place of Safety

Aalwyn

Aalwyn Place of Safety

Towards the end of 2020 we asked by the Department of Social Development Victim Empowerment Directorate if we were willing to establish a place of safety somewhere on the West Coast on behalf of the DSD.  This is one of Minister Sharna Fernadez’s Legacy programmes – to establish places of safety in under or disused Public Works houses across the province.

We agreed and in March 2021 we began with the renovations and fitting out a once very damaged house, being used as a drug den, to one that would be welcoming for our most vulnerable women and children.

We hired 3 housemothers, 1 therapeutic social worker and 1 social auxilliary worker.  A dream team.  They were trained in all aspects they would need to provide a safe, healthy, healing environment. 

Our Place of safety was officially opened on the 7th of May 2021, by Minister Fernandez.

Aalwyn is a stage 2 shelter, which means that our clients and their children remain with us for a period of 3 months.  We can motivate for them to stay longer, under special circumstances.  Either way, our clients remain our clients through our aftercare process of checking on them.  Some return to have therapeutic sessions at the shelter even after they have exited.  If they move back to an area outside of our service delivery area, we make sure that we are in contact with another NGO or the DSD to make sure the clients’ needs are met, as far as is possible.

While with us, our residents receive daily therapeutic sessions and weekly group sessions.  They have the opportunity to learn new skills so that they may become financially independent upon exiting our shelter.  Many have opted to get their drivers license as this is a much needed skill that opens up a whole new range of employment options.  Many have been trained in Home Based Care and are now qualified and in employment.  Other have learned entrepreneurial skills and have gone on to be much in demand as seamstresses with their own businesses.

We have been very successful in finding short term and long term employment for our clients, something we will continue to do as, ultimately, one of the main reasons women stay in abusive relationships is they are not financially independent.

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Focus topics for Educational Workshops
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Clients per month in Hout Bay, Ocean View, Masiphumelele, Red Hill, Fish Hoek, Simonstown, Drakenstein (Thuthuzela Care Centre Paarl), Victoria Hospital Forensic Unit Catchment area and surrounds.
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Professional Staff
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Clients assisted in Houtbay Fire in one month
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