By Kgomotso Ramotsho
The Law Society of the Northern Provinces (LSNP) brought festive cheer to victims of abuse. On 14 December 2016 two shelters for abused women and children in Gauteng received handbags filled with much needed items from the LSNP. This comes after the LSNP started its ‘Handbag Project with Toiletries’ in November 2016. Council member and former Vice President of the LSNP Khanyisa Mogale, said that the initiative came up prior to the high tea event that they had before their past annual general meeting in 2016.
Ms Mogale pointed out that guests were required to bring some toiletries as entrance fee for the high tea event. She said the original idea was to collect toiletries to donate to female prisoners. However, the LSNP thought it would start first by donating to women who stay at shelters for abused women and children in support of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children. iKhaya Le Themba (Home of Hope) and the Salvation Army Church that runs the Beth Shan shelter were the two beneficiaries to receive early Christmas present from the LSNP.
Handbags filled with toiletries such as bath soap, body lotion, tooth paste and sanitary pads were handed over to the representatives of both shelters. Ms Mogale noted that the project will continue from where it started. ‘We would like to do this quarterly but it will depend on the response we get from those who are interested in participating by donating,’ she said.
Both representatives of the women’s shelters expressed their gratitude to the LSNP. Manager of the Beth Shan shelter, Major Moya Hay of Salvation Army Church said that their shelter caters for women and children who are abused or have been victims of prostitution and human trafficking. She pointed out that when these women flee to their shelter they arrive with absolutely nothing and said that the gifts from the LSNP would go a long way to making the women’s Christmas special. ‘I am very excited about the handbags and all the gifts, we are grateful for people like you,’ she said.
Manager of iKhaya Le Themba (Home of Hope) one stop shelter, Sindiswa Maseko, said that their shelter cannot give the women and their children everything they need. She said that the donation would help the women and make them feel acknowledged by society. ‘We really appreciate that you could come up with this project, our women will be pampered and this project will bring change,’ she said.
Kgomotso Ramotsho Cert Journ (Boston) Cert Photography (Vega) is the news reporter at De Rebus.
This article was first published in De Rebus in 2017 (March) DR 6.