Christmas came a few months earlier for the Kagisano Society Women’s Shelter (KSWS) on Monday as they received P13 000 worth of household items from #TeamOutOfOrder . The team, which is made up of a group of young people that include Yarona FM’s Mdu, raised money through a music festival which also doubled as a birthday celebration for the radio presenter.
“#TeamOutOfOrder had an event dubbed “Pay What You Want Music Fest” which celebrated my birthday on the 28th of September,” Mdu said. “During preparations of the event I bumped into a volunteer at The Kagisano Society Women’s Shelter and learnt of what they were doing for victims of Gender Based Violence.” He said they immediately decided to donate profits to be made at the event to the shelter. They managed to raise P13 112.35.
The women’s shelter was established in 1998 with the vision of being the leading organisation for ending Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Botswana. Acting Outreach Coordinator at the shelter, Tshoganetso Kenewang says some of the services they provide include counselling of GBV survivors (both genders), alleged perpetrators of GBV, and providing temporary shelter to female survivors and their children whose lives are deemed to be at risk as a result of abuse. This usually includes cases of death threats.
“We also help children of GBV survivors with admission back into the school system to continue their education while we are still working on a permanent solution for both survivors,” Kenewang says.
“She says they also help the parents to get back to their places of employment. Other services that are not limited to the shelter include an outreach and education program that entails going around the country raising awareness about GBV in different communities and workplaces.
“We also engage traditional leaders to help devise ways to address cultural norms that encourage GBV,” she says. Kenewang says they also have community mobilizers in Kasane, Ghanzi and Sebina after a baseline study found the three areas had the highest prevalence in cases of GBV.
She says their office, located in Broadhurst Gaborone, receives at least 400 GBV related cases a year. Although it is not as common for men to be victims of GBV Kenewang says they also receive cases of men who have been abused by their women partners.
She says poor or lack of proper communication, infidelity, and finances are the most common causes of GBV. The shelter depends on donations from the government, local and international donors, and individuals. They have five counsellors working on a full time basis.
The shelter can only accommodate 16 survivors at a time (together with their children).
“We are currently expanding to accommodate more people thanks to a donation from the Japanese Embassy,” says Kenewang. The KSWS is also working in partnership with Dee Zone Productions to shoot a drama based on GBV issues. They have a short SMS code where victims get to send the word ‘HELP’ and receive a call from one of the counsellors. The code is 16510.