A group of women in the informal settlement of Phillippi, Cape Town, lived as neighbours but didn’t even know each other’s names. They all went about their daily routines, ignorant of the struggles they shared, until they were brought together in the Woza Asibonisane! Stepping Stones sessions.
Nomabhele Mncwengi is one of these women. She has lived in Siyahlala, an informal settlement in Phillipi, for 15 years. She attended Stepping Stones and Parents’ Workshops after a friend invited her.
“I decided to attend because I wanted to understand more about HIV. I knew about it but I didn’t understand it properly or know how I could protect myself. I also learned about gender-based violence and the steps to take to protect myself from an abusive partner.”
Through listening to other people’s stories, Nomabhele realised that many people were carrying a lot of pain that often showed itself in outbursts of rage because they have not found a way to deal with it. Her husband was one of those people.
“My husband had lost both his parents. It affected him and I could see him shutting down or getting angry for no reason. There are many women who are being abused around here and there are men who do very wrong things because of the anger that they are hiding inside. ”
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