YOKHUSELO Haven for abused women is consolidating its work by closing its Prospect Hill crisis centre and moving all operations to its formerly secret refuge.
And, thanks to the work of a strapping crew of muscular Madibaz rugby players, who sweltered in the heat, the move from Central to South End went well.
Not only that, but the scaling back from two havens to one means that another NGO in the city – Autism Eastern Cape’s early intervention centre for pre-school children – will receive a much-appreciated gift of toys, curtains and furniture.
“What a lot of eye candy!” joked the centre’s Lindsay Ziehl of her rugged removal men.
“We are very thankful – they are wonderful boys. Every year the rugby teams at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University have a ‘pink-shorts’ campaign to assist victims of domestic violence and they raise money for Yokhuselo Haven.
“We also get a lot of donations, and if we have a lot and don’t need it all, then we pass it on. For the next six months we have decided that the children at the autism school in Main Road, Walmer, will be the recipients.”
Yokhuselo Haven has been operating from the secret location in Duncan Avenue for many years but this address is now being made public as the two shelters unite to form a one-stop training centre and women’s refuge. “Prospect Hill Crisis Centre has been closed as things are not getting any easier for charities and so we will be doing everything from one place – to run two houses is expensive. We will be doing training at Yokhuselo and we also are open to women who need a safe place.”
The South End building is set on larger grounds and Ziehl addressed concerns of safety: “We are very well secured so women can feel safe there.”
AEC Early Intervention Centre teacher Nolene Thompson said the association was thrilled with the donations.
“We are so grateful to get the dining room table, for example, as we then will be able to teach the children to sit together and learn how to eat at the table.
“There are so many social skills we have to teach the little ones and everything helps,” Thompson said.
She said the curtains would be perfect to brighten the classrooms and keep the hot sun out, while the toys, such as dolls and balls, would give the children a lot of pleasure.
Ziehl said Animal Anti-Cruelty would be another recipient, “if we get too many towels for example, and they are old, then they go to Animal Anti-Cruelty”.
Other items would go to a shelter for the homeless in Kempston Road.
For further information on Yokhuselo’s services to victims of domestic violence, contact Ziehl on 072-478-0054.