Lerato’s world began to turn around when she joined Khulisa’s Ubuntu Club, where she participated in the ‘Remember To Forget’ dialogue circles. This provided a safe space in which she could share her story of abuse with others who had suffered similar traumatic experiences. SHINE peer educators helped members of the group to come to terms with their situation, to understand it, to put it behind them, and to move on.

Transformation Story: A STORY OF COURAGE AND DETERMINATION

“Before the SHINE programme I never felt the light, I was wrapped up in my darkness!”

Lerato is 23 years old. She grew up in Daveyton and, like so many of her peers, she suffered sexual abuse as a little girl. Unable to cope with the pain and confusion, or to talk to anyone about her experiences, she retreated into silence.

Lerato’s world began to turn around when she joined Khulisa’s Ubuntu Club, where she participated in the ‘Remember To Forget’ dialogue circles. This provided a safe space in which she could share her story of abuse with others who had suffered similar traumatic experiences.

SHINE peer educators helped members of the group to come to terms with their situation, to understand it, to put it behind them, and to move on.

“During this time I realised how many of my peers were undergoing the type of assault that I The dialogue circles create an opportunity for young people to talk about their day-to-day pains and, by doing so, to create a sense of solidarity amongst them. They enable the participants to show their understanding and to care for one another.

“Through my work in *Peer Victim Education [GO TO PROGRAMMES – Women and Victim

Empowerment] I can safely say that 80% of our children are at risk, or exposed to various forms of emotional abuse and violence, every day of their lives.”

Ubuntu Club members were provided with extra-mural and school holiday activities, which they would not normally have had access to. They learned puppetry, storytelling and public speaking, among other things.

Today Lerato is a Help Desk Officer at the Get Informed Youth Development Centre in Tembisa,

where she provides essential information on education and career guidance, as well as conducting a referral service to youth looking for employment or further skills development.

In 2013 she was selected to join the SHINE Women Empowerment Programme, further empowering

her to overcome the trauma of her rape as a little girl, by helping others.

Through the follow-up training on Peer Victim Education, she is now equipped to facilitate both in schools and amongst community women’s groups.

In 2011 the Tembisa Victim Empowerment Programme was launched during Women’s Month under

the banner of Daring to Dream Programme. The programme is run in collaboration with SAPS and the Department of Community Safety.

The SHINE Victim Protection Programme has now been introduced throughout South Africa and continues to have far reaching impact amongst all those who have participated in the process.

*Through Peer Victim Education, victims move on and empower other women and school going children.

“Today I want to SHINE, today SHINING is my life and I want other women to SHINE like me!”

[In December 2015 Lerato Tau passed away after a challenging pregnancy and child birth. Her memory will always SHINE on in thousands of lives that she touched]

Through the follow-up training on Peer Victim Education, she is now equipped to facilitate both in schools and amongst community women’s groups.“Today I want to SHINE, today SHINING is my life and I want other women to SHINE like me!”