Empowering Our Women

There are many refugee women keeping their families going, without husbands present, for one or another reason. These women do not have a good command of English and little training, so they often come desperate for money for their monthly rent. This is difficult for us to sustain, since we have to keep Mercy House going at big cost, monthly. Our policy now is, rather than keep on giving rent, to empower them, so that they can get onto their feet and thereby keep their families going, alone.

To this end, we have given one woman a braai stand and a double-plated gas cooker. She has started cooking and selling meals on the street, which we understand is slowly taking off. We then asked another to list all the things she would need to do likewise, by way mainly of foodstuffs for her cooking. She, too, is now selling outside her apartment on the street. Our third and most recent endeavour has been to help a single parent to set up a small shoe business on the street. She buys large bags or crates of new shoes and resells them. This, too, is slowly taking off and we hope that their endeavours will be successful, so that they will be able to pay their rent, and above all, that the police do not come and “confiscate” their stock and chase them away. Cruel as this is, it does unfortunately happen – may they be protected…