- Mandisa Monakali has been helping South African women survivors of abuse since the 1980’s
- This powerful woman started the first ever centre to protect survivors of gender-based violence in Western Cape townships
- Monakali encourages women to speak out about their experiences and offers help to those in need
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When Mandisa Monakali started Ilitha Labantu in 1989, it was the only place in any Western Cape township that offered support to black women who had suffered from gender-based violence.
According to Beautiful News South Africa, Mandisa was abused by her husband in the 1980’s and had nowhere to turn.
Because there were no safe spaces for black women experiencing this kind of trauma, Mandisa decided to start her very own organisation in order to help those suffering.
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“I realised that something should be done to fight the scourge of violence in the townships,” Mandisa explained.
Ilitha Labantu started in the township of Gugulethu, in Cape Town, but has subsequently grown and can be found in many other provinces across the country.
Mandisa strives to support women in need and anyone can walk into the centre at any time.
The counselling services are free and all the staff speak the language of the local community, Briefly.co.za discovered.
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Mandisa has been helping protect and support South Africa’s women for decades and is changing the narrative of those who’ve suffered abuse in silence.
“Do something,” Mandisa says, “Start talking to each other and assist each other.”
To find out more about Mandisa and Ilitha Labantu, watch here:
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