Giving Women Options
In partnership with Christ Church, Hillbrow, REACH SA, Anglican Aid is helping Umthombo Wempilo as it supports the needs of sex workers and their families.
Umthombo Wempilo means ‘Well of Life’. The group meets women while visiting brothels, speaking to them about their options. Many referrals come by word-of-mouth.
As well as health, accommodation and advocacy, the project offers skills-based workshops and peer-group support to provide opportunities for them to choose a better direction.
Women in sex work are particularly exposed to health risks and personal danger. They and their children lack stable housing and reliable food sources. Recently, the Umthombo Wempilo office has moved to a more secure part of the church grounds and now offers emergency accommodation for people in need.
During the Covid-19 crisis, the Umthombo Wempilo team continued to provide essential support, prayer, and counselling to the women they care for via phone. They are delivering care packages of basic necessities to the women they support. The hardships of 2020 have seen more women in desperate situations as they try to support their families.
Aged 22, Thandeka has one child and is not working. She said, “I appreciate the help that Umthombo has given me. It has made my life better. May God bless you.”
Born in Zimbabwe, Ever began sex work in October 2018, in order to support her two children. However she fears getting sick. She has a relationship with God and often has guilt about the work she does. She knows that God loves her.
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