Fourth year UWC nursing students raise funds to help victims of sexual violence
Gender-based violence impacts too many lives in South Africa and around the world - and fourth year students at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) School of Nursing have decided to do something about it - they’ve pooled their skills and started a fundraising campaign to help create awareness and raise funds for various projects.
About 250 nursing students will be seen in action (and in uniform) from 26 to 28 September 2017 at 21 major intersections around the northern and southern suburbs of Cape Town. Collection tins in hand, they will be collecting money from motorists during the morning rush hour traffic. The public will spot them in Cape Town Central, Rondebosch, Table View and Milnerton in the city areas and in Parow, Plattekloof, Bellville and Kraaifontein in the northern suburbs.
Nursing student Jeremy Tarr, who serves on the organizing committee for the event, says as representatives of the School of Nursing, they would like to put their efforts into providing for the financial needs of the victims they’ve seen in their line of work.
“It’s important to underline that sexual violence doesn’t only affect women. Men are beating men and women are beating men as well. We also want to move from the common media focus of male on female violence,” says Tarr.
Since health professionals are the public’s first line of contact, it is integral to nursing students’ training to recognize and address this issue. Tarr, who has worked in a hospital trauma department, says two modules in particular - Gender-Based Violence and Psychiatric Nursing Science - require students to engage with the community in different ways.
“The overall aim of these modules is to enable us to be socially responsive citizens, and to participate in the management of persons who have been affected, by Gender Based Violence, and other vulnerable population groups.”
Their community engagement and support is mostly focused on the Fisantekraal community outside Durbanville.
“Some victims have nowhere to turn to, since most of the abuse takes place in their family homes,” he says. “In many cases they left their homes with no money, and they are often not the primary breadwinner of the household. In some cases women walk out with only their children, which is why we would like to support places like Hagar Home for the Destitute. “
Hagar Home caters for the needs of abused women and children as a result of gender-based violence. The students will focus on educating members of the youth team on how to identify signs of physical, emotional and sexual abuse; educating pre-teens and young adults on changes in their bodies, hygiene keeping themselves safe; and supplying teens and children with necessary hygiene products and educational supplies. The facility itself also needs upgrading, so that women and children are able to receive the basic tools to help uplift and empower them.
“It’s because of homes like these that victims realize that there is an alternative and that they don’t have to stay in an abusive relationship. Gender-based violence is the world’s most common form of human rights violation, and it effects everyone - different races, social classes, ages and ethnic groups,” says Tarr.
TheBalula Children Daycare and Craft Centre, founded by resident Cynthia Wondo of the Fisantekraal community, is another of their supported spaces.
“We are aiming to educate parents, children and the greater community about intellectual disability, and creating awareness of how these individuals are at risk for abuse,” Tarr explains. “We also want to improve the facilities and equipment of Balula, to create a safer and more learning-friendly environment for the children.”
Beneficiaries closer to home include the University community itself, as well as the Lighthouse Church in Belhar.
Any businesses or individuals who would like to contribute to this worthy cause should feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Account details for donations:
Account holder name:UNIVERSITY OF THE WESTERN CAPE
Account name:ADMIN FUNDS DEPOSITS
Absa account number:40-5089-4067
Gender-based violence is a matter of concern that needs to be addressed in any community - which is why UWC has many facilities and programmes geared towards the support and protection of its diverse population of about 25 000 students and staff.
The Centre for Student Support Services (CSSS), which provides 24 hour support to victims of gender-based violence in collaboration with Karl Bremer Hospital.
Campus Protection Services are the first responders to any incidence on campus, with planned instructional courses for members on how to counsel victims in a safe and caring environment.
The Gender Equity Unit houses a total of 6 programmes: Loud Enuf (sexual orientation and gender identity); Edu-Drama (theatre programme against violence against women); Human Nature (persons with disabilities); the Mentoring Programme; Imbewu (GEU newsletter); and the food programme.
Caption: These are some of the faces the public will be spotting along the roads collecting funds for organizations who support victims of sexual abuse. Final year students ready for the task are from left Asandiswa Ntsali, Zukisa Nqose, Solandri Nieuwoudt, Kayla Japhta, Aphelele Qabaka. Second row from left are JP Walekwa, Anton Sebastians, Jeremy Tarr (organizer) and Ashley, Kobeni Athi.