There is always hope – Lindy’s story

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‘You know what I really like about Lindy? She doesn’t worry about what other people say about her,’ says Monica Hoorn, a retired social worker and Director of the Dusk to Dawn Shelter for Abused Women and Children.

We called Aunty Monica to briefly discuss the progress of a lady who is currently still residing at her organisation. Lindy Burgess is one of many women who came to the shelter from an abusive background. These women often bring with them addictions to drugs as well as very poor self-esteem, which makes them difficult to manage. Aunty Monica says that this wasn’t the case with Lindy, ‘she really worked well with us from the beginning.’

Lindy herself attests to the fact that she isn’t the type to just give in. ‘I tried to get out of that lifestyle a few times, it was hard, but I didn’t want to go back,’ she says. After being referred to the VRCID by a friend of hers, a lady who had also been on and off the streets for many years, Lindy was ushered in to the office of VRCID Social Development Manager, Wilma Piek. ‘The day she was brought to my office she was totally down and out,’ says Wilma, ‘it looked like she was addicted to TIK and could not return to her family.’

The procedure for cases like these is to refer the person to our social development fieldworkers, Jacque and Veronica, who have relationships with various safe houses and shelters in our area. This is exactly what Wilma did, and they were able to place Lindy at Dusk to Dawn in Ravensmead under the care of Aunty Monica, with whom she has flourished.

Our VRCID team also assisted Lindy in obtaining an ID which is something we always prioritise as it helps to restore the dignity of the person and enables them to obtain employment or access a developmental programme.

Jacque also checks in with her on a regular basis and motivates her to push through.

Since joining the shelter eight months ago, Lindy received the opportunity to attend a sewing course facilitated by EDCON and received a diploma as well as a sewing machine and R1 000 to start up her own business. She needs lots of support to make this happen and our team is currently investigating avenues to assist her with this as well.

In the mean time she is enjoying her current job in a butchery where she is learning how to do things like make wors and burger patties. This involves operating the machinery – traditionally a post filled by men. Allowing Lindy to do this is not only wonderful for her self-confidence but also illustrates an important lesson to her and other ladies in her position: that your success need not be dependent on another person.

Lindy shares, ‘I realise now that I don’t need a man to make things happen, I can do them for myself.’ She says that she just wants to continue pushing forward and ‘lifting others up’ as she goes.

Lindy’s story is only one of the many amazing victories which come out of places like Dusk to Dawn – safe havens where those who feel as though they have no hope left come to find solace and be mothered and guided. This particular shelter has been running for over 17 years and helped many abused woman and children, and we will continue supporting these incredible ventures where we can.

On that note, we would like to thank all VRCID levy payers for their monthly contributions. Your regular payment ensures that we are able to continue employing incredible fieldworkers, a social auxiliary worker and a social worker who connect with the marginalised in our community.

To contribute towards the Dusk to Dawn Shelter for Abused Women and Children, contact Monica Hoorn on 021-931 3622 or 073 444 1823.

Your input, no matter how small, can truly make a significant impact.

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