A Social Workers work is never done.

“Gender Links and Women’s Voice Leadership has opened my eyes to what the community is experiencing in silence.”

“I have worked in the community of Eshowe for some years now. My focus has been in helping children reach their potential and making sure they have a safe environment to grow up in.

Little did I know that there is another monster that has been in people’s homes for so long. Yes, we know abuse however, in the context of GBV! Are you serious! I did not even know it comes in so many forms. I actually realized that even I have been a victim of GBV at home and school and even in the workplace. Thank you Gender Links, NOW WE KNOW, and knowledge is power, we can now see the monster and address in the right way.”

Mthembu started working as a Social Worker in Eshowe Child Welfare in 2013, she joined Necro in 2014 November, another civil organization that deals with diversion programs for offenders to prevent them from re-offending. She has once again joined the Eshowe Child and Family Welfare Society team in 2019.

Mthembu is a hero in the community of Sunnydale and Umlalazi, her work is deserving for her to qualify as a driver of change, because she works tirelessly as a social worker, she even goes the extra mile in assisting cases that are not within her area of operation, she never turns away a client. She will remedy the situation and then refer accordingly. Not only stop at referring, Mthembu will ensure that she follows up with the client to ensure they received the right help from other departments

With the Gender Links funding, Mthembu was involved in the planning and implementation of the workshops and school programs for the awareness of Gender based violence. Mthembu says this project made her realize how much work is still needed in the community, as most of the ladies she had encounters with have been abused, however are too scared to report these cases. During her address in the project, she encouraged the ladies to stand up for their rights and not be ashamed to report cases. She reassured that she would be there to assist and offer counselling and support for intervention.

Successes: Mthembu has dealt with cases of abuse since the Gender Links funding and implementation begun. She continues to council the victims, the perpetrators, and the families. She goes beyond and ensures that food parcels are given to the families, especially during the covid-19 pandemic, where more cases were being reported for GBV.

Challenges: Mthembu says that the SAPS becomes a problem especially when perpetrators have friends in the department. She mentions that one arrest case that was done ended with the perpetrator being released because he knew the police officer.

Another challenge is that women do not want their partners to be arrested because they provide for the family and they will be left with no food and financial support. Miss Mthembu hopes this will change, as we continue to with the economic empowerment and skills development program through Gender Links funding.

Future plans: Mthembu hopes that she can continue contributing to the change in the community of Eshowe.