Community Cohesion was a small idea in 2012. At the time I was volunteering at the Hout Bay SAPS in the Victim Support Centre. Here, we provided, and still do provide, crisis containment for victims of violence and crime. At that time, I was working in television as a documentary producer and this was my volunteer commitment. It began to bother me, that despite the absolute value of being there for another human being in their moment of crisis, victims needed and deserved more than what we could offer.
Being acutely aware of the history of our country; the violence of the past and the impact of that violence on our present, and my own upbringing in a family where we always tried to act consciously to assist others, I called my own bluff, left behind my career and embarked on an ambitious, frustrating, deeply emotional and ultimately very, very rewarding journey of establishing and growing an organisation that specialises in Victim Empowerment.
In 2012, it was me and my idea…refining, defining, learning from mistakes, thinking bigger and accepting a challenge from the Department of Social Development Victim Empowerment Directorate to test the model in Ocean View, Masiphumelele, Red Hill and Hout Bay. By 2014, I had employed 3 colleagues. I had also started another programme, One School at a Time, funded by Swiss Re, who saw the value of psycho-social support in our schools.
Now, in 2020, we have been acknowledged by National Government as the Top Victim Empowerment Programme in the Western Cape for direct services to victims of violence and crime. We are at our second school in the One School at a Time Programme. Cohesion now employs 19 people. The creation of the Cohesion #notforbutwith shop has created further employment for 8 people.
In this time, we have been there for over 9500 families in their time of crisis.
It is an absolute privilege to be able to provide this service to everyone who calls our country their home, to work every day with a team of inspiring and dedicated professionals, with colleagues who remind each other why we all do what we do when it gets really hard and you have heard one story too many that day.
We have a Vision of a South Africa where all our citizens are afforded access to quality, Rights Based Therapeutic social work and psycho-social services, so that they are able to realise their potential, irrespective of their socio-economic situation.
Where we realise the emotional impact of our violent past and present, and make use of services available to start to deal with the impact of this violence.
Clarence contacted Browyn Moore who is the Director of Community Cohesion to share some good news with her. Many donations came pouring in:-
- R5000 food vouchers
- R5000 towards toiletries and clothing
- 150 loaves of bread from our friends at Blue Ribbon
- 1600 sanitary towels courtesy of IAMFORHER
Have a listen to the interview here…
If you would like to help, then visit their website here: