The Women's Shelter
Usindiso Ministries extended the shelter for women to now include both the 1st and
2nd floors. Each floor is registered to accommodate 60 women, plus their
children, which gives the shelter a capacity for 120 women (plus their
children). Usindiso Ministries provides the basic needs of each woman and child,
which includes accommodation, food, toiletries, nappies and clothing. These
women are referred to us by the police, nearby hospitals, other institutions or
they hear about us by word of mouth and arrive on their own.
Our social worker department offers counseling, individual and group therapy
and discussions. They also assist the women to apply for ID books and grants,
where necessary. It is the social workers who interview the ladies when they
first come in to the shelter and determine which floor they will be accommodated
- First floor - abused women and their children or
- Second floor - homeless women and their children.
It is important to separate the two groups as the women are affected
differently and have different therapy needs.
Workshops are held to create awareness of HIV and Aids, Human Rights and
their rights as women. Our programmes include Life Skills, Skills for Life,
Handcrafts, and we assist the women to find employment and to become whole -
spirit, soul and body.
All of our children attend school, either nursery or formal school.
Our babies under two years attend the Baby Project during the day (Monday to
Friday) when their moms are attending counselling, workshops or going to skills
training. This programme is supervised by the project co-ordinator, social
workers and nursery school principal.
The children with their mothers are from new-born upwards and the number can
be anything up to around 45. Boys are accommodated up to the age of eight years
and are then transferred to a nearby boys' shelter - during this time the mother
is encouraged to be involved in her boy's life.
The length of stay is officially 3 to 6 months, but in reality, it is usually
between 9 months to a year. The women come to us really broken and with minimum
self-esteem and even with the counseling and support that is offered, 6 months
is generally not long enough. Therefore they are allowed to stay until they are
ready to stand on their own.
We are situated in the old "pass office" at 80 Albert Street, in
downtown Johannesburg, South Africa. In the days of apartheid, before 1994, our
African brothers and sisters had to have a "pass" to be able to enter
a city or town. Now the building is used by Usindiso Ministries to uplift people
who have been abused and emotionally bruised and to help them to regain their
self-worth, confidence and to be able to stand on their own and be a
contributing member of society.
For more information on the history of the building - click
Baby Day Care Centre
During April 2011, Baobabes' Caryl Kelly worked hard at renovating the Baby
Day Care Centre with funds that were generously donated by Societe Generale. The
facility that accommodates our little ones Monday to Friday, now looks beautiful
and bright in the play area and restful in the area where the children rest.
In this project, the little ones under 2 years are accepted, when their moms
are going to training, counselling or to attend workshops, etc. The babies are
cared for by qualified staff and child minder trainees, to ensure that they are
very well looked after and they thrive and develop as expected.
|Usindiso's brightly decorated