I want to be the spokesperson for all women with disabilities.

“The services that Lesedi La Setjhaba provided me with is unmeasurable. It made me feel important, whole again because they believed me. The message I want to disseminate is women with disabilities can be independent thinkers and should not be controlled.”

The beneficiary works at IT department. She has been assisted by the occupational therapist to find the job and she is receiving a stipend. This assist her to be able to look after herself and children financially. She is bipolar and epileptic, has a history of abuse and being in a mental hospital for a long time.

The beneficiary had come to open a protection order against her partner previously and given a date for counselling. She however came again to seek help because her partner expelled her after she brought the interim protection order. There were some of her belongings that were still with the partner. She went to her parents’ home and alleges her mother refused to accommodate her; wanted her to go back to the partner and cancel the case. She then went to her paternal aunt and the organisation was to meet with the family for intervention.

She however called on a Saturday to explain about her ordeal and that her mother told her aunt to stop destroying the relationship of the beneficiary and father of her children. She became homeless and the unfortunate part is she was with her three-year-old and six-month children. She left without any medication, no nappies for her younger one, no food and was prepared to sleep in the street with children. She called the organisation on a Saturday and was helped with finding shelter and advocating on her behalf to be assisted and transported to the shelter after the police were refusing.

The beneficiary received help in terms of shelter and was safe together with her children. She was back on medication and was able to be in a peaceful place whilst awaiting the court case.

Lesedi La Setjhaba with the help of WVL-SA fund was able to link the beneficiary with resources through a Telephone. She was rendered with counselling services and safe space with children whilst awaiting court proceedings. She was able to express her gratitude that the organisation through counselling was believing her as often her families think because she has mental illnesses, she cannot think and be independent, hence the treatment.

The Social Auxiliary Worker was able to identify the state the beneficiary was in and help needed and the Social Worker provided other services. The beneficiary was able to contact the Social Auxiliary Worker during weekend and she had been her hope until she was referred to the Social Worker.

The beneficiary received the skills and platform to become hope to other people with disabilities, and willing to become the mouthpiece to change mindset of families and their treatment of people with disabilities. The Manager of POWA shelter in Vosloorus in Ekurhuleni was also responsible for assistance. She received the beneficiary with help.

The help the beneficiary received is in reflected in the way she relates with her children, relying on her child to remind her to take her medication. Seeing them at peace with no drama, gave her peace and calm as well.

The plight of the beneficiary, with her agreement using the voice notes, editing on their names were used at the local community radio station. The emphasis was on the challenge’s women with disabilities face in GBV situations. How other families perpetuate GBV by encouraging women to return to the abusive relationship and the voice notes were relatable evidence other than just talking. There were huge responses from listeners and others were willing to assist her.

The beneficiary is willing to be that spoke person in the talks about women and disabilities.

The beneficiary is one of the stakeholders that will be invited when issues affecting women with disabilities are discussed.

Next steps

Beneficiary future plans are to avail herself and bring challenges they face in the eyes of the community. Women with disabilities should have a platform and talk about what affect them not anyone speaking on their behalf.