Kimberley Undergound supports victims of abuse

Kimberley Underground supports victims of abuse

Established in December 2008, the Sinothando Centre, meaning ‘we have love’, offers a supportive environment for women and children to report instances of abuse in the impoverished area of Greenpoint, Kimberley. The high rates of unemployment, crime and alcohol abuse in the community have prompted correspondingly high rates of abuse, resulting in the intervention of Leza Graaff.

Leza has been with the South African Police Service (SAPS) for 20 years, was nominated for Miss United Nations in 2008, and is the project manager of Sinothando. Together with Captain Grace Bruce, Senior Superintendent Heroldt Saunders and Louwna Luyt of the SAPS, she has worked to provide a safe and comfortable place for women and children to find assistance. Between 10 and 15 cases of abuse are reported every month, mostly by adult women, but once, by a five-year-old girl.

The centre has five volunteers available, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, in addition to both doctors and social workers. Abused women are frequently taken to the Talmar Shelter, an established shelter for abused women and children, or, if necessary, to Kimberley Hospital.

Petra Diamonds’ Kimberley Underground mine donated R12,000 for bandanas, produced to promote awareness of the project, as well as a big container which has been converted into the project’s base: a welcoming space, complete with beds, couches and windows. With similar projects intended for other Kimberley suburbs, Kimberley Underground is proud to support this worthy cause.