Welcome to Samila
Jun 3, 2010
Welcome to Samila Gender Counseling and Support Service, an NGO providing services and programmes to stop gender based violence in Khayelitsha, a vast township of approximately two million people situated within the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa.
Samila delivers gender violence prevention services to members of the community who are affected by gender based violence, irrespective of their age or gender. No one escapes from its devastating effects – neither the victims who are mostly women nor the perpetrators who are mostly men. Many of our clients are women but our focus is on encouraging men to use our services because working with men plays a vital role in stopping abusive and destructive behaviour towards women in the community.
Our strategy is to tackle the root cause of the problem. If we are to prevent and stop gender based violence, we believe that it is far more effective working with men who are the cause of the violence, than it is to assist women who experience the effects of the violence. Male youth are particularly at risk of becoming perpetrators.
Our services are designed to stop gender based violence by gaining men’s confidence, trust and willingness to participate in programmes that can heal and empower them to change their abusive perceptions, attitudes and behaviour towards women.
We also recognize that there are males who are victims of gender based violence and who need Samila’s services in order to be healed and empowered to change their lives for the better.
Most importantly, we know that the information that we provide to everyone affected by gender based violence allows them to make informed decisions for themselves.
Samila has established successful working agreements and partnerships with the Department of Social Development in the Western Cape, with other NGOs and service providers in order to integrate and augment services, act as referral resources and thereby stop the violence, and increase community safety and stability.
From March 2009 to February 2010 we delivered our services to over 20,000 members of the Khayelitsha community through our general counseling and social support services and through our two main programmes. These programmes are: