16 Days of Activism officially kicked off on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 and Mustadafin Foundation will actively take part to help end violence and empower women and children in the Cape Town community. The non-profit organisation will be working closely with the South African Police Services (SAPS) to create awareness. This year’s theme is ‘Peace Begins at Home: End Violence! Empower Women!’

As part of their annual support of the campaign, Mustadafin Foundation has set up five programmes and activities that will focus on social, health and safety issues that affect disadvantaged Cape Town communities.

The activities commenced on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 – International Day of No Violence against Women. The South African Medical Research Council in August 2012* shared shocking statistics that intimate partner violence was the leading cause of women homicide victims at a staggering 56%. Domestic violence was the theme of the day and the Foundation partnered with the SAPS to distribute pamphlets and host talks with the community on how violence against women and children affects homes and communities.

On International Day for the Disabled (Wednesday, 03 December 2014), the second activation will take place in Mitchells Plain where the Foundation will create awareness about abuse and violence against people with disabilities. “Not only is there a social crisis of gender-based violence, but more and more disabled people are victims of horrific crimes and abuse in their communities. On this day, communities will be educated and encouraged to protect people with disabilities. At Mustadafin Foundation, we want to turn the disabilities into capabilities,” explains Ghairunisa Johnstone, Director at Mustadafin Foundation.

With World Aids Day coming up on Monday, 01 December 2014, Mustadafin Foundation has organised a community activation by invite in Swartklip, which will take place on Thursday, 04 December 2014. World Aids Day and violence against women and children will be the main discussion.

On Monday, 08 December 2014 the fourth activation will take place in Delft and Tafelsig. “Together with the SAPS, we will distribute pamphlets relating to issues of abuse (particularly child abuse), drugs, human trafficking and rape. The aim of this campaign is to highlight the abuse women and children face within their homes and communities. There is a rise in rape and the disappearance/kidnapping of children and women in our neighbourhood. We are very passionate about this campaign as we believe that every household and community should enjoy peace and security. As the theme suggests, peace begins at home,” shares Johnstone.

Johnstone raised the fact that violence against women is becoming an epidemic in South Africa. The SAPS will continue to motivate community members to report all domestic and violent crimes and not feel intimidated by perpetrators, and work together as a community to minimise crime.

South Africa celebrates Human Rights Day in March but the world celebrates this day annually on 10 December as it marks the end of 16 Days of Activism. “Mustadafin Foundation will end this period on a positive note on Thursday, 11 December 2014 where issues and risks will be discussed with children at Mnandi Pool, Mitchells Plain. There will also be a surf walk with placards relating to violence and abuse in Delft, Khayelitsha, Hanover Park, Montrose Park and Tafelsig,” concludes Johnstone.

Victims of any kind of abuse need to report these acts immediately and seek help.

For more information on any of the programmes or to donate, please contact Mustadafin Foundation on 021-633-0010 or visit their website at www.mustadafin.org.za. Join their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MustadafinFoundation.

*Source:  http://www.mrc.ac.za/policybriefs/everyeighthours.pdf