Kagisano, a programme implemented by Afesis-corplan with various partner organisations across the country, aims to organise activities geared towards preventing collective violence in communities and promoting social cohesion. One of the communities where the Kagisano programme is implemented is in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, where a community-led steering committee works collectively towards tackling the root causes of violence in the area. Mpho Ya Basadi is one of the stakeholder organisations involved in the Kagisano Khayelitsha Steering Committee, doing amazing work with providing counselling and support services to the community.
By Mkhuseli Madiba
As we wrap up 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF), we take a look at one of the community-based organisations in Khayelitsha that offers Gender Counselling and Support Services – Mpho Ya Basadi.
Mpho Ya Basadi foundation is a not-for-profit organisation (NPO) that was established in 2018. Its vision is for a society free of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and gender inequality. Mpho ya Basadi foundation was born out of founder Sylvia Goodman Mpinana’s desire to do something about the gender-based violence (GBV) she witnessed in her home community, Zwelethemba in Worcester. The organisation has grown to establish itself in Khayelitsha offering women and men, both victims and perpetrators, counselling services, behavioural change, and conflict resolution workshops. The organisation does not charge its clients for these services, because most would not be able to afford them.
At the heart of the GBV problem is addressing men’s violent actions against women which are becoming a norm. According to the South African Police Services (SAPS) 2022/2023, 2nd quarter women and children crime statistics: over 13 000 women were assaulted between July and September 2022, 1277 women narrowly escaped death and 989 women were killed.
The Ministry of Civilian Secretariat for Police has called out for support from the broader civic society, and community structures to address the causes of GBV and find preventative measures.
Mpho Ya Basadi is key to addressing this because their interventions include men who are mostly the perpetrators. Through their workshops and counselling services, they educate and equip men to bring about a change in their attitudes and behaviour. Their approach is multi-layered; they look at the individual holistically and examine contributing factors that exacerbate violence, such as unemployment, substance abuse, and so forth.
It is organisations like Mpho Ya Basadi that require support and resources to enable them to further stretch their services to the broader area of Khayelitsha. Recently Mpho Ya Basadi clients benefited from being part of the Kagisano programme by Afesis-corplan. Through networking, the organisation was able to send four of their clients to a skills development training facilitated by one of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR’s) agencies. The training equipped women with income-generation skills such as baking and sewing. In return, the women received stoves/ovens for baking, and sewing machines.
This act will see these four women now starting their informal income generation scheme, relying less on a men’s financial income and growing to become more self-sufficient. This is just one example of how many community-based organisations working to prevent and decrease GBV need support in resources to further expand their work and impact in communities.
In closing, the 16 Days of Activism campaign against GBVF was a moment for us to raise awareness of the issue by amplifying collective voices around the problem. With the campaign coming to an end, the work to reduce GBV incidents does not stop now, it continues for the betterment of women and children in Khayelitsha.