In light of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence against women and children, the government has launched Safe Space for Men and a community care centre in North West. The Letlhakeng Community Care Centre will be providing psychosocial care and support services and skills development to orphans and vulnerable children, including those from child-headed households.
The launch of the Safe Space for Men in Letlhakeng La Ga Sedumedi village in Tlokweng was led by Social Development Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, who gave males of all ages an opportunity to hold each other accountable and engage in open and non-judgmental conversations.
Safe Space for Men will allow young men to find ways to address social ills, such as the spread of HIV and alcohol and substance abuse and will serve as space where they can access services such as HIV testing and psychosocial support. The young men will be paired with positive male role models in their communities, to mentor and guide them towards positive masculinities and healthy lifestyles.
This initiative comes after recent research which showed that most men are reluctant to seek treatment or services in public facilities. Molotsi Motsatsi, who spoke on behalf of Tlokweng Tribal Authority, said this will be of great benefit to villagers and residents of surrounding communities. “We need men and boys to come together and put an end to the abuse of women and young girls. This facility is much needed and will go a long way in yielding positive results for all community members,” he said.
Furthermore, the department is also building 17 centres thanks to a donation of over €9 million from KfW, the German state-owned development bank. “The community care centres will also serve as service points, bringing government services to the doorstep of rural communities,” explained Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu.