South Africa has one of the highest rates of gender-based violence (GBV) in the world. Local reports indicate that one in five women are physically and/or sexually abused, although this figure rises to one in three in poorer-income homes. These figures are likely much higher as many cases are not reported. Statistically, young women and girls who drop out of school have a higher chance of being in abusive relationships. Low self-esteem, poor self-awareness, difficulties with regulating emotions and dealing with stress are often critical contributory factors in GBV and working with men and women, on developing further their skills in these areas, has been shown to reduce GBV incidents. Within the Metro North region of Cape Town, Fisantekraal, Philadelphia, Kraaifontein and the surrounds, there are large farming communities and informal settlements far from economic centres. Traditionally and currently, these communities are particularly scarcely resourced in terms of mental health support structures and, GBV, alcohol abuse and relatively young parents, are very common.
Its founder and CEO, Elize Lombard, started Usapho, which translates to ‘family’, in 2013, because she saw the need for prevention work, in addition to statutory social work services. Programmes include GBV prevention, parenting for young people, and counselling support. The programmes are delivered at schools and specifically target resource poor northern suburbs and farmworker communities in the Cape Winelands district. Usapho is a reputable organisation within the community, with strong ties to educational institutions, specifically Early Learning Centres and High Schools, where parents and students are referred for programme or individual intervention.
EMpower's second grant to the Usapho Foundation will support 120 young people (50% girls, aged 13-19) to learn about gender-based violence and how to prevent it through building mental health and resiliency, developing gender equitable attitudes, self-esteem, and effective communication skills.
Primary Location: Cape Town
Funded Since: 2022
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