Dimakatso “DK” Khampepe
Hadassah Women’s Outreach
Dimakatso Khampepe, 42, and her two siblings had an absent father growing up – which is something that broke her. Naomi Mosiane Naomi M Foundation twitter.com/molemanaomi We are a reactive nation; until a woman is killed or raped, only then will you hear noise around genderbased violence Tshegofatso Naomi Mosiane’s only daughter, six-year-old Kanalelo, was conceived through in vitro fertilisation, because Mosiane was raped repeatedly as a child by men she knew Maditaba Elisa Matlou, a teacher by profession, has no regrets for the journey she has undertaken thus far. She co-founded the Tshwaranang Old Age Centre with an intake of 42 older persons, ten years ago. The centre benefits older people in many ways, such as keeping them together to share their own stories, challenges and perspectives as part of the community. It is important that this older generation is never forgotten, and society learns from its wisdom, Matlou says. During these times when old-age facilities are rare in rural areas, Matlou was joined by her colleague and friend, Muyexe Ngobeni, in conceiving the idea of setting up an adult care centre in the rural village of Mohlabaneng in Limpopo. Registered as a non-profit organisation (NPO), the entity opened its doors to the villagers in 2012. With eight staffers, the centre is governed by a board of directors. The old “gogos and mkhulus” congregate on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays to enjoy a treat of breakfast and lunch, which is prepared by volunteers. “We also have a small garden to keep the elderly busy, working to produce an assortment of vegetables and rearing plants. Water scarcity is a big problem, but we do what we can to keep everyone happy,” says Matlou. “There is also time to have the elderly work out, a programme aimed at keeping them fit,” she quips. A society which neglects its old people can never be a society deserving of moral worthiness Don’t take this type of work in desperation because caring for the underprivileged is a calling. Go to school and study social work and psychology so that you can understand your work. Pastor Buyi Daweti Social and community activist https://www.instagram. com/buyidaweti/ Women must not to give up the good fight to empower themselves Buyi Daweti is a pastor, motivational speaker, caregiver and community minder, an entrepreneur and author. Daweti, a vocal voice against genderbased violence (GBV), argues that although society has made strides in recognising women in various fields, the battle against GBV is far from being won. As a result, the victims either end up losing confidence or their lives – leaving their children to fend for themselves without providing support and care. That is why Daweti, who lives in Midrand, Gauteng, has identified the need to guide, protect and provide for child-headed families, often subjected to poor adult supervision. She runs a soup kitchen and provides clothes for those in need. In addition, she has initiated a programme that encourages and teaches residents in outlying areas to start their own gardens, an effort she believes will go a long way towards reducing hunger and human suffering. Her intention is to increase her motivational drive, and to have as many people as possible producing their own food. She aims to encourage “women not to give up the good fight to empower themselves”. Her book, Step in Faith, is meant to inspire others, especially women. Another of her books, Victory and Justice at Last, was triggered by her 12-year journey to seek justice for the loss of her child who was aborted without her consent by her doctor, as well as the death of her daughter, which was caused by the same doctor. Dr Nontombeko Bila walks the talk with regards to empowering community members through various initiatives. Her brainchild non-profit organisation (NPO) Sasanani Empowerment Organisation donates and distributes sanitary pads to informal settlements and townships around Pretoria, including Winterveldt, Hebron and Soshanguve. She says it is unfair that condoms are distributed freely while sanitary pads are sold. “This is an unequal approach. Engaging in sexual activity is a choice while menstruation is a physiological process,” she adds. For this reason she funds the manufacture of reusable pads through Kamcare in Kameldrift, a long existing NPO for community development outside Pretoria. At the height of the Covid-19 lockdown, Bila procured electronic gadgets for a rural school in Limpopo to facilitate online learning. She also finds time to oversee business ventures such as Vakhusi Business Enterprise as managing director. She says the business venture makes it possible for her to buy school uniforms for underprivileged children and families. She also funds students at the University of Johannesburg by paying for their accommodation. She believes this is her contribution towards empowering others in a country where there are glaring disparities, especially among the youth and women. “We can all make a little contribution to bring joy to others.” “I am sensitive to the needs of the vulnerable. I feel fulfilled when restoring the dignity of girls who are in need,” she says. LP Similarly to freeprovision of condoms in the public space, the same should happen with sanitary-pad dispensers The last straw that broke the camel’s back was when Khampepe decided to marry at a young age a man who abused her for seven years. Her situation was aggravated by the fact that she was not financially stable. Her late mother, a domestic worker, did her best to look after her and her other two siblings. Khampepe, from Fochville, on the West Rand, Gauteng, but currently residing in Rustenburg, North West, is the founder of Hadassah Women’s Outreach (HWO). The organisation, which has four coordinators, was launched in 2017 and was formed as a result of the scars of her painful past. Through HWO, its members look after the homeless and drug addicts, provide food to the needy and motivate and advise other women on issues such as gender-based violence. The organisation aims to grow and establish its footprint in eSwatini, Botswana and other African countries. “The mission is to mend and heal our hearts and souls, protecting and guarding the dignity of women, tag along a boy and a girl child that must know how to hold and treat each other as humans,” Khampepe says. Khampepe was employed in 2011 as a maintenance planner at Waterval Smelter in Rustenburg. In 2017, she was seconded to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Waterval Smelter branch as the first female full-time shop steward to represent the interests of the NUM-affiliated workers at the mine.