For more than 30 years, we have been fighting for a world without injustice, in which all women and communities can exercise their rights freely, where there is no violence, poverty and inequality.
In the district of Marracuene, we have built the first centre to aid women who have suffered from domestic abuse. Today, the centre can only accommodate guests during the day, while in the evening the guests are forced to return home. Protecting them and offering them shelter for a period of time is essential to get them away from a situation in which they are constantly exposed to violence. This aid works in conjunction with their integration into vocational training courses in the women’s community.
We traveled to Mozambique with Raffaella Lebano, Shareholder and Member of the Steering Committee at ActionAid Switzerland, to hear the testimony of Yolanda, Director of the Anti-violence Centre. Upon hearing her words, it became immediately clear to us that the situation is difficult and that we need to do something.
We then started planning an extension of the Centre in Marracuene. The aim is to build two dorms so that women and their children who are subjected to violence, can be given the support they need for long periods of time.
Watch Yolanda’s appeal at the Anti-Violence Center in Marracuene.
The extension project
Currently, the centre consists of a gynecological clinic which provides medical assistance to women who have suffered domestic violence. Then there are also social workers who help the women to deal with their situation and a police station, which provides support during the notification process. But that is not enough! In Mozambique, 8 out of 10 women are victims of violence. For this reason, the Centre needs to be enlarged so that all women can see their rights recognised.
The project aims to build two dorms, one of which is already partially financed, a kitchen and a laundry for the guests in the center. With 8 new beds and related facilities, we will be able to accommodate more women who are in danger and also offer them accommodation at night.
The anti-violence centre today.
In November 2019, we visited the anti-violence centre in Marracuene, where we met Yolanda, who is now the centre's director. Many years ago, Yolanda herself found refuge within the walls of the center after being subjected to repeated domestic abuse. Today, she tells us about her projects and the importance of providing continuous support to women who experience violence:
"In our district, you have to walk 10 kilometers to reach the nearest hospital if you're injured by violent attacks and you need help. If you want to report the perpetrator, you have to walk another 20 kilometers to get to the police station. It's an endless hurdle and a lot of women are out of hope. Out of fear, out of exhaustion and above all because they have no place where they can find refuge. After a possible complaint, they must indeed return home where the violence was perpetrated. What do you do in such circumstances?"
"I wanted to get to know Yolanda and the women in the district of Marracuene in person and help them in the best possible way, so I packed my backpack and notebook and went to Mozambique in November. There, women struggle every day to change the world we live in, without knowing where to flee, who they ask for help, and how to protect their children. That's why your support is hugely important."