The Songozwi Victim Empowerment Programme (SVEP) in Makhado (Louis Trichardt) has been assisting victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse for the past decade. Now it is on the verge of shutting down due to lack of funding and leadership problems.
The funding problem
SVEP chairperson Tshinyalani Matumba, who has been in the role since its inception, says the NPO is struggling financially because they haven’t secured funding from the provincial department of social development.
“We currently don’t have any form of funding as our application for funding for this year was rejected by the department. We are still not sure what happened to the application,” says Matumba.
They are now set to operate for more than 12 months without any form of funding, while waiting for the department’s 2021 funding applications to open.
Cutting down costs
SVEP has since stopped using Makhado police house in Breda street as their office space, which they have been using for many years, and are currently operating within Makhado police station in the central business district.
“We did not stop using the house as our office space because we are fighting with the police as some people from the organisation are claiming, we had to move to a small office space due to our financial constraints so we are still working together with the Makhado police and operating within their premises,” he says.
Matumba says the NPO currently has four volunteers operating from its office, and is unable to carry out its full mandate due to not having enough funds at its disposal. “You know our mandate is to provide various services to the victims of several forms of violence, which include child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assaults but with limited funds and resources, we are unable to perform our duties to the [best] of our capabilities,” says Matumba.
“We plead with any good samaritans out there whom might be willing to rescue us from this situation [because] we cannot afford to shut down. There are so many victims who depend on us for various services. We are also trying to engage the department of social development to reconsider our application for funding as having to wait for 2021 might… be too late for us,” adds Matumba.
Try again for funding next year
Spokesperson for the provincial department of social development, Witness Tiva says the SVEP application was rejected for not complying with the rules of the department.
“We know that the NPO SVEP is one of the important NPOs we have in the Vhembe district, helping us fight against issues such as domestic violence but unfortunately their recent application for funding was rejected for not complying with the stated rules we have in terms of funding for NPOs in the province. We have, however, assigned them a social worker who will help them with their application form for the upcoming period of funding [in 2021],” says Tiva. – Health-e News.