MTN gives a women’s rights organisation a financial injection
MTN SA Foundation has donated R250 000 to Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre. This will assist the organisation to fund its mandate of facilitating access to justice for women who have experienced, or are at risk of experiencing gender based violence.
This donation was announced at a Women’s Day event hosted by the MTN SA Foundation on 11 August, in celebration of Women’s Month.
Here, exceptional women leaders in South Africa addressed the audience on overcoming gender based violence. One of the most noteworthy speakers was the honourable Minister of Women in the Presidency, Susan Shabangu. She has always maintained that a greater determination is required by society in dealing with women and child abuse, and spoke about the role of government and corporates in ending this scourge on society.
MTN took the decision to make the donation to Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, due to its long-standing partnership with the organisation, dating back to 2015.
During this period, MTN SA Foundation and Tshwaranang hosted a series of breakfast forums titled: We Need To Talk. These discussion sessions provided a platform for members of the public to become involved in talking about various societal issues with the aim of leading all of us to find the solutions needed. The forums covered a range of topics including the engagement of men and boys in addressing gender-based violence; the relationship between culture, religion, tradition and gender-based violence in South Africa; and the role of the private sector in assisting with this issue.
Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, General Manager of MTN SA Foundation, says the partnership between Tshwaranang and the MTN SA Foundation represents a meeting of minds as both institutions seek to leverage the power of their brand, technology and the legal framework to contribute to combatting gender-based violence.
“As the country celebrates Women’s Month, it is important for the private sector to find ways of using the ubiquity of our brands and resources to help resolve this issue. Violence against women and children is one of the world’s worst forms of discrimination and abuse of human rights, as it targets the most vulnerable members of society.
It is for this reason, that the MTN SA Foundation themed this year’s celebration: We are not survivors. We are warriors, in a call to society to shun gender-based violence in all its manifestations. We hope that the humble contribution we have made will go a long way towards alleviating the plight of vulnerable women,” says Mtunzi-Hairwadzi.
As a socially responsible company, MTN has in the past forged partnerships with government and civil society to find practical and lasting solutions to this scourge.
Initiatives have included MTN’s partnership with the Department of Social Development to support White Door Centers of Hope (WDCH). This project identifies and renovates under-utilised spaces in communities, and customises these facilities to serve as safe havens for survivors of gender-based violence. These centres are intended as short-term halfway houses where survivors can access counselling, first aid, overnight clothes and accommodation while awaiting further assistance from the police, doctors and social workers. The centres are managed by NGOs in the community with the support of South African Police Service (SAPS) and Department of Justice.
“MTN is acutely sensitive to the plight of the communities it operates in. Our decision to support Tswaranang has been informed by our quest to provide a tangible and lasting intervention for the survivors of domestic abuse. We believe that this gesture will provide a much-needed lifeline to those at the receiving end of the unwarranted violation of their dignity,” concludes Mtunzi-Hairwadzi.