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'This will become a sacred space' - Philisa Abafazi Bethu opens family centre

29 November 2020 10:31 AM
Tags:
Lavender Hill
gender based violence
Philisa Abafazi Bethu
Lucinda Evans
Family Centre
community activist

Community activist Lucinda Evans officially opened the doors of the Philisa Abafazi Bethu (PAB) Family Centre this week, bringing to life a decade-long dream.

Lucinda Evans founded PAB in 2008, running the organisation for abused women and children from her home for eight years.

Evans recalls how survivors would take refuge in her home and in her children’s room.

The Lavender Hill activist always dreamed of having a family centre to help bring healing to her community, and 12 years later it has become a reality.

The (PAB) family centre has been built from colourful shipping containers that are stretched across the field at Sullivan Park in Retreat.

The multi-functional centre will provide a safe house, admin offices, meeting rooms, a community hall, after-care centre, a neighbourhood watch and emergency rooms.

Evans says the safe house shelter is for mothers and children and LGBTQIA+ survivors of rape.

She adds that PAB will also offer services and interventions for men and young boys for a holistic approach to tackling gender-based violence.

The centre was made possible through the support and funding from Queen Silvia of Sweden and the World Childhood Foundation.

Evans chats to CapeTalk host Sara-Jayne King about the "sacred space" and her life as a community and women's rights activist.

It wasn't easy, it was a struggle.

Lucinda Evans, Founder - Philisa Abafazi Bethu

One day, I sat on the floor in the garage and I wrote on a piece of paper; I dreamed what a family centre would look like. A family centre where men and women and children to come. Where there would be services, and interventions, and a start to healing families.

Lucinda Evans, Founder - Philisa Abafazi Bethu

We [Philisa Abafazi Bethu] spent eight years in my house, and or eight years my family didn't have a home. We lovingly sacrificed our family home. There are more times than I can remember where the four of us slept in my bed because we had survivors sleeping in my children's rooms.

Lucinda Evans, Founder - Philisa Abafazi Bethu

On that where we built [the family centre], a woman was raped. There was gangsterism. There was drug-dealing. We are turning that negative space into a positive space. This will become a sacred space, a healing space.

Lucinda Evans, Founder - Philisa Abafazi Bethu

Listen to Lucinda Evans in conversation with Sara-Jayne King:

Listen to Lucinda Evans in conversation with John Maytham:


29 November 2020 10:31 AM
Tags:
Lavender Hill
gender based violence
Philisa Abafazi Bethu
Lucinda Evans
Family Centre
community activist

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