Clermont rehabilitation centre cares for abuse victims

AS one of their initiatives to alleviate poverty, Ekuzameni Rehabilitation Centre distributed food parcels to abused women on their database on Wednesday.

The rehabilitation centre for women and children, which is in Clermont, was started in 2003 by former KwaDabeka Clinic admin clerk, Joyce Mchunu.

“Seeing abuse victims on a daily basis at the clinic and hearing their stories was what motivated Mchunu to start a rehabilitation centre.

“I related to these women as I was also a victim of abuse and I used to sit with them and counsel them. It touched me that often they go back to those relationships as most of them depend on their partners for shelter and food,” said Mchunu.

She started the centre using a room at KwaDabeka Police Station

“My work with the victims reached the Minister of Social Development (DSD) at that time, Zola Skweyiya, who became interested in what I was doing for the community. DSD began fund-raising for us and we were deployed to many areas where we were speaking to and empowering abused women.

That programme yielded good results as many people were employed to help.

“From the police station we moved to Sbusisiwe Hall in Clermont until in 2006 when Jump Start approached us, bought a plot and built this centre we are now using,” said Mchunu.

Abused women go to the centre for counselling. Some of the women are on their database and others are referred to them by the clinic or police station.

She said Food Bank, who is their main food sponsor, introduced them to Pick n Pay.

“We have a group of women who are part of our soup kitchen and feeding scheme but after Pick n Pay’s generous food donation, we added more women to our list and we divided them into three groups.

When the food ran out about a month ago, the centre had to stop feeding the new two groups.

“We then got together with the board and discussed ways of getting more food so that the other groups can continue benefiting from the centre. A letter was written to the Lottery who approved the request for help, and gave us a budget for six months.

“Each month, we will give one group food parcels so that it is fair and everyone will get something out of this programme,” she added.

Mchunu has been given many awards and certificates for the wonderful work she does.



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Sanelisiwe Tsinde

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