Story by Yolanda Moyo
GENDER-based violence survivors in and around Bulawayo will have access to a one-stop centre, which is expected to offer medical care and rehabilitation services.
The facility, which is housed at Mpilo Central Hospital, was constructed under the government’s 100-Day Cycle Programme and is meant to improve the welfare of gender-based violence (GBV) survivors.
The establishment of the one-stop centre in partnership with Family Support Trust is an attempt to complement government efforts in preventing and responding to GBV cases.
“We completed this centre under our ministry’s 100 days plan and for now, the status is complete. These centres have proved to be key in the rehabilitation of women. We have had one woman who was empowered by our ministry who came through the centre and she has won an award in Mozambique. These centres are a stopgap, we do not want them to continue, we would like to see these centres being play centres. They are here as a necessity,” said Dr Sithembiso Nyoni the Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development.
The multi-sectoral centre will provide temporary shelter, health, legal, counselling, psycho-social support and protection to survivors of GBV.
“The centre is going to offer specialist services with people who specialise in the management of gender-based violence. It will offer a dignified space for children and women who are sexually abused and violated,” said Mr Taurai Machinguri the director of Family Support Trust.
Bulawayo is the seventh province to benefit from the initiative following the construction of six other one-stop centres in Harare, Midlands, Matabeleland South, Manicaland, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central, with the government having tabled plans to further expand these facilities nationwide.