Ndabeni-Abrahams calls for protection of women and children

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Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has called on communities to protect and stop the abuse of vulnerable women and children.

Her department and a cell phone manufacturer wrapped up the 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children at Khanyisa Children’s Home in Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape.

Ndabeni-Abrahams donated food parcels to the elderly people and the 37 orphaned children.

“This is the month where we also raise awareness against cyber security.  It is high time that we wage a war against Gender-Based Violence and therefore we said this is the best place to be because we’re talking about children that are abandoned. Most of these children that are abandoned it’s because the fathers abandoned them, the fathers abandoned their mothers and some mothers were raped. So we said it makes sense for us to come and be with them and of course that’s the best gift that we can do.  This is Christmas time and we had to invite our elders and children to say Merry Christmas as we hand over the Christmas gifts,” says Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Deputy Principal Noluvuyo Lawana says the Minister’s donations will make a huge difference.

“The basic need for the children’s home is of course basic necessities like the children’s nappies. It is one of the challenges we have.  These children lose a lot from their infancy, as a result they cannot function at the beginning. Fortunately, we have a resident social worker who is able to stay with them but when you look at it, it needs us, the community people to work and stop abuse against children and women. When they come to Khanyisa Children’s Home they are reserved, they are broken, they can’t smile, they can’t laugh, they can’t even joke. You can see that these children are lost,” says Lawana.

OR Tambo Executive Mayor Thokozile Sokhanyile says the municipality has programmes meant to fight the scourge of gender-based violence.

“In our program we engage men and boys so that they are taught about how to treat women. We also have lawyers who educate women about their rights. We went to some rural villages of  Ingquza Hill where we advocated for the rights of women,’ says Sokhanyile.

Some of the women who attended the event say they live a life of terror.

Pinky Dwenga and Esther Simana are calling for harsher sentences against the perpetrators of women and child abuse.

“The abuse of women and children is not good at all. I wish the perpetrators can be locked away forever so that they don’t repeat these crimes. What I don’t like is when the criminals come and stay with us. Why would someone who rape children come and stay with the society? They must rot in jail. We are not safe. I want the death sentence to come back.”

The home has also appealed to the public to do their bit by adopting vulnerable and destitute children from their neighbourhood.