Updated: Mar 10
Acting director and chairperson of GRIP, Barbara Kenyon, said the donation was completely unexpected, but nevertheless very welcome. “We are immensely grateful to SPAR. They have always walked the road with us in support of the women of this province,” she said. Representatives of GRIP are based at police stations, hospitals and courts, where they support victims of GBV.
“It is a challenging process and court cases can often take two to three years. For a child especially this is a very long time.”
That is why it is so necessary for GRIP to be involved through the entire process from awareness raising to the reporting of abuse at police stations and hospitals, right through to the court case and afterwards.
Kenyon said although the abuse of women, men and children happens across all sectors of society, and GRIP targets all communities in Ehlanzeni and Mkhondo, it is especially concerned about those areas with limited or no resources at all.
“The majority of our survivors are disadvantaged persons from undeserved communities. “These areas have poor infrastructure, unsafe public transport areas and minimal police protection. This incites violent crimes, and more so with the Covid-19 repercussions,” she added.
The organisation is based in the City of Mbombela Local Municipality and has branches in Mbombela, Masoyi, KaBokweni, KaNyamazane, Hazyview, Tonga/Shongwe, Bushbuckridge, Acornhoek and Mkhondo. Government funds the shelters/safe homes for abused women and children operated by GRIP, but not the staff who and the services that provide support at police stations, courts and hospitals. “USAID provides funding for our operations at four hospitals, but other than that we rely on the help of businesses and the community,” Kenyon said. Sean Komlosy, divisional marketing executive of SPAR Lowveld, said it wanted to support GRIP to enable the organisation to continue the much-needed work it is doing.
“GBV has been in the spotlight over the past few months and we know that funding has been a challenge for many organisations. “We have a long-standing partnership with GRIP and we support the work they do. We also wanted to honour Licky Thusi, the CEO who has recently passed away,” Komlosy said. Thusi, who was appointed CEO of GRIP in April 2019, spent more than half her life working for the organisation.