GRIP – A greater need for support for rape victims is experienced on a daily basis, especially in Mpumalanga where, at some courts, apparently as many as 90% of cases are rape related.
As part of their transformation policy, Mpact “builds the esteem and dignity of all our people and make a difference to the lives of the people whom they touch”. Mpact’s transformation policy thus results in them being active in, and running, many community projects. They are among others, involved in the GRIP project, developing a sports field at Maphepeni, maintaining the FET Centre and conducting sewing projects. The GRIP project is in need of even more funds than the Mpact budget can reach, though, and the government input is not nearly enough. Therefore, Mpact had a business lunch on Thursday, 25 February, at the Munch Restaurant in an attempt to get more businesses involved. The Greater Rape Intervention Project (GRIP), Mpumalanga was founded in 2000 by Ms Barbara Kenyan, to provide support and assistance to survivors of sexual violence.
Concern about the high number of sexual crime cases and the lack of effective services in the province, as well as compassion, love, care and the desire to make a meaningful change and greater impact, led to the birth of GRIP. As an alarming number of rapes are committed by relatives, homes are seldom a place of safety, nurturing and protection. Therefore a number of 24-hour care rooms (which offer immediate assistance to survivors) were established in local hospitals, police stations and courts in Mpumalanga. Last year 22 volunteers and two head office staff, however, had to be retrenched for GRIP to remain operational and they do not want to close any care rooms. The possibility of closing one care room is, however, looming in Piet Retief as more adjustments might be required. Funds received from Government (about 20%) and the rest from private companies and businessmen are just not adequate. That is why Mpact held the business lunch to raise awareness and get more businessmen to pledge for this very deserving project. Johan de Waal from Mpact welcomed all the guests and explained how Mpact was already involved.
Lungile Khubeka (director of GRIP) enthusiastically did a presentation that informed, explained and also highlighted the need for GRIP to carry on and even expand. She requested businessmen who attended the lunch to donate generously or to adopt GRIP as their CSI beneficiary. Colonel Thango (Station Commander, Piet Retief) spoke on behalf of the SAPS, giving their perspective on the matter and Nurse Sharon Manana represented the hospital, relating what happens when victims are brought to hospital. Both the latter confirmed the high rate of sexual related crimes and the need for GRIP and its services and care rooms. Communities are now, more than ever, critical stakeholders for effective and impact driven programming in preventing gender based violence and rape crimes.
Thank you Mpact for taking the initiative.