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Safe Haven Project launched for vulnerable children on the Cape Flats this festive season

Cape Town – A local non-profit organisation whose mission it is to assist women and children affected by gender-based violence has started a project to ensure the safety of children during the festive period.

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Ihata Care Group will be providing a safe space for vulnerable children on the Cape Flats.

At the weekend the organisation launched its Safe Haven Project.

The group has also been managing the Beitun Nur home in Schaapkraal for the past three years.

Beitun Nur is a home for young girls affected by gender-based violence.

The organisation also runs a shelter for abused women in Heideveld.

Speaking to IOL, Ihata Care Group’s chief operating officer (COO), Nuraan Osman said they have opened Beitun Nur for more children for the Safe Haven Project.

“The project is to provide a safe haven for vulnerable children from neighbouring communities.

Ihata Care Group COO, Nuraan Osman. File Picture

“We have massive grounds which are children friendly. The project will not only teach the children soft skills, life skills but also sustainability, basic farming.

“The aim is to get the children out of the ghetto and better themselves,” Osman said.

The children attending the project are aged between seven and 18 years and the hope is for the children to join the youth academy Ihata currently has.

An educational programme addressing gender-based violence will also be conducted during this time.

Osman said the girl who currently live at Beitun Nur also in turn become peer educators.

“We have over 35 children who come to our [youth] programme every two weeks. We hope to do this daily but in order to achieve that we will require funding and sponsorship.

“The girls living at Beitun Nur are already used to the notion of giving back, nurturing, caring, helping and empowering others.

“During this project the aim is all about giving back,” Osman explained.

The children who have joined the project come from a local madressa in Manenberg which Moulana Sameeg Norodien is involved in.

Osman explained the children currently on the grounds are extremely ecstatic and are happy to be in a new setting.

Over the past week Manenberg was gripped by gang violence and ongoing shooting which claimed the lives of multiple individuals.

“The children who come here have peace and quiet and are free to run around and be children. They do not have to watch their backs. They can just enjoy being children,” Osman said.

At the weekend gangs are alleged to have called a truce in the area.

Osman told IOL the hope is for the Ihata Care Group to branch this project out to neighbouring communities but there is financial support needed as the children are treated to daily meals and treats.

“Currently we are building a clothing bank for school clothes for the children in the surrounding informal settlements and we hope this will be a success.

“We want children to see the bigger world and show them it is not just about lacking.

“Children should never know lack,” Osman added.

To get involved or donate contact the Ihata Care Group at 083 712 2703 or 021 638 5578 alternatively email nosman@ihatacares.org.za

robin.francke@inl.co.za

IOL

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