An Activist against Gender Based Violence.

“A community free of gender oppression is heaven to me.”

Peggy Strachan is energetic and strong, she has so much love to give and has adopted so many daughters through her work, and I am one of those who call her MOM. She is empathetic and a leader of note. She has worked tirelessly for the Eshowe Community. Strachan is a dedicated woman who wants to see the good in all people; we see this in her work ethic as she continues to fight for injustice caused by GBV. She is community role model, and that is why she is a driver of change.

Strachan who was born in Eshowe and supports the community is our choice of a driver for change. She is a community activist and fights for the injustice brought about by poverty and GBV.

She was an Au Pair Agent for many years and during this time she worked amongst the different community folk in Eshowe, the Umlalazi Municipality under the now King Cethswayo District. She noticed the large scale of unemployed of youth especially that of the black girls and got herself trained and became an au pair agent.

She successfully sent about 30 black girls to the United States of America as au pairs and she has wonderful and successful stories to tell. It was during this time, and with her personal involvement with the girls that she became aware of the social ills, such as domestic violence, child abuse, rape, poverty, child headed families, unwanted pregnancies and HIV/AIDS.

She was devastated by all this injustice around her and this prompted that on the 18th May 2003 as a birthday gift to herself, she gathered some friends and registered a Non-Profit Organization to give support to such young girls and their families.

That was the birth of The Rainbow Circle Organization named by her husband and she got her entire family interested. She aligned herself with organizations and got herself trained with regards to giving sufficient support to the victims without causing secondary abuse. She speaks fluent Zulu and she says it’s a big plus for her.

The Rainbow Circle Organization is based at the Eshowe SAPS and it runs their Victim Friendly Empowerment Centre giving support to the victims of crime and abuse. They support women, children, elderly & disabled persons. Peggy Strachan is the Centre Manager and is a trained Trauma Counsellor.

Her organisation offers, trauma Counselling, social auxiliary workers who work in the rural communities hosting awareness/educational campaigns in schools, community halls, clinics. Referral systems to other stakeholders for specialized services.

The Rainbow Circle Organization works in partnership with South African Police Service, Department of Social Development, Health, Education, Justice & the NPA and local NPO/NGOs, Traditional Leaders of the five rural areas surrounding Eshowe.

The Rainbow Circle Organization, like many other NPO/NGO’s greatest challenge is that of funding. It is unfortunate that even though government is aware of the importance of civil society it does not render the appropriate support. Non-Profit Organization especially those in rural areas close down on regularly.

The one thing we wish to have is a shelter to house abused women and their children in Eshowe. That right now is the missing piece of the puzzle. We hope that this prayer will be answered soon.