These are some of our current projects:
Helping children who have been abused
We continue to work with our partners in Khatlehong who do some astonishing work with abused small children and children [boys] of 8 – 12 years who are already abusers of small girls.
In particular we support the groups for abused young [pre-school] girls and their mothers – the results are stunning and without this help the girls would be permanently scarred and be at great risk for the rest of their lives.
This is just a small reminder of why their work is so desperately needed:
“A four year old girl has been killed in Kathlehong [NB, just to the South-east of Johannesburg]. It is tragic. Unspeakable. But for Ekupholeni Mental Health and Trauma Centre, it is nothing new. And therein lies the real tragedy.
Ekupholeni is a counselling centre operating out of zozos and containers on the grounds of the Natalspruit Hospital in Kathlehong. It is in charge of psycho-social counselling at the next door Sinakekelwe Thuthuzela Crisis Centre which sees dozens of victims of child abuse, sexual abuse and rape on a daily basis.
Counsellors at Ekupholeni see about 1000 new cases of sexual assault and rape each year. About two thirds of these cases are children. Hundreds of these children are extremely young; either in pre-school or primary school. Our therapy group for pre-school children who been victims of sexual abuse and/or rape has twenty children—and is bigger than it ever has been throughout the organization’s nearly twenty years history.
The scourge of rape is becoming a crisis in our communities of Kathlehong, Thokoza, Vosloorus and the surrounding areas. Whereas before we dealt with the psychological repercussions of rape, now we are also dealing with incredible associated violence.
What we are doing at Ekupholeni is no small task. Our aim is to help these children and their caregivers put their lives back together. This means that a once-off therapy session and a teddy bear, is simply not enough.
Our staff is made up of highly professional and qualified personnel, including clinical psychologists and social workers. Some of our social auxiliary workers and lay counsellors offering support throughout the therapeutic process have twenty years’ experience in this field".