In honor of women’s month in August, we would like to put the spotlight on three ministries that East Mountain partners with that focus entirely on women and the unique challenges and joys that they face.
First off is Her Voice. Situated in the rolling hills of Kayamandi, a black township in Stellenbosch, Her Voice seeks to holistically empower young moms. Every Sunday, Her Voice holds a session that could address any number of topics from heritage, to getting medical questions answered, to discussing what safe boundaries in relationships are, to dreaming of next career steps. Every session that is attended by a woman in Her Voice gives her points that she can then use to purchase baby products, food, toiletries, and even a doctor or dentist appointment from the Her Voice catalogue.
Her Voice also recently started up a grief support group run by a local Xhosa social worker, and has two birth doulas that are currently in training to serve their community. This incredible organization started with a handful of moms in a tiny room, and now has a long waitlist for the sessions they run in a big building. In fact, the group has gotten so large and in demand over the years that it is primarily run through the format of small groups. These groups are led by long-standing members who are themselves being mentored, equipped, and trained throughout the year to lead. The Her Voice ladies throughout Kayamandi are slowly but surely changing their community, their relationships, their motherhood, and the lives of the next generation for good.
A little further down Baden Powell road from Kayamandi is a bush area near the N2 freeway. When one drives by on any pleasant day, you will see a group of women sitting on the side of the road with men occasionally approaching them. This group of ladies is comprised of individuals who have turned to prostitution on the side of the road in order to support themselves. The Butterfly Ministry, a ministry out of Stellenbosch Baptist Church (a partner church of East Mountain) goes to the ladies once a week to chat with them, pray with them, and run a Bible study going through the book of John with them. There are also plans to run a resume (C.V.) workshop to practically help the women be more prepared to find another job. Though it is painstaking work, trust and rapport is slowly being built with these ladies.
Last is The Zoe Project, an NPO that is based out of Retreat but is in many MOU’s throughout the greater Cape Town area including Mowbray Hospital, Hanover Park, Mitchell’s Plain, and Gugulethu. Zoe provides a spectrum of care for moms from pregnancy through the first 1,000 days of the baby’s life. This care process includes mental health assessments and counseling, support groups, antenatal classes, doula birth services, practical help with food and basic baby needs, and postnatal care. Lives are being transformed everyday as 70 plus volunteers show up to impact the lives of women throughout Cape Town with quality, professional pregnancy and birth care that emphasizes dignity, compassion, and education to empower moms everywhere.
Women’s month always serves to draw our attention to the specific challenges that women in South Africa face such as gender-based violence, pregnancy and birth challenges, and poverty. East Mountain is proud to partner with Her Voice, The Butterfly Ministry, and The Zoe Project. And in doing so, we are particularly grateful for the opportunity to empower and uplift vulnerable women throughout the greater Cape Town for the glory of Christ and His Kingdom.