Monique Strydom

Matla A Bana - A voice against child abuse

What does your company do?

Minimising the secondary abuse child victims suffer when reporting crimes against them. This secondary abuse is due the a failing reporting system. Our projects currently reach 30 000 children every year. We are the only NGO in the field who has a memorandum of understanding with the South African Police Services. We create child friendly reporting facilities at police child protection units (currently more than 40 across South Africa) as well as courts. We training police officers and sexual offences prosecutors in essential skills needed to work with victims. We supply emergency comfort packs to sexually abused victims in those first hours of reporting. We have a school education program focussing on child protection. This NGO was founded by myself after serving on a task team looking at baby rapes in 2001 and being requested by the then head of the Child Protection Unit to assist victims as there was no organisation doing that. Matla A Bana was born and was initially funded by my philanthropic trust, Strydom Trust. Matla a Bana is 21 years old and we have grown from a small office in Johannesburg to a national organisation reaching all the provinces in South Africa as well as partnerships in Mauritius.

What is your biggest success?

Making a choice of putting the needs of others above my own. Being able to serve others and staying true to my calling after 21 years. Holding on to NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Funding. I see and hear the needs from both victims and officers of the law every day. We can reach so many more victims and children and make such a huge impact if we had all the funding we needed. Ignorance. The public with regards to reality of what is going on and what is really happening in their own homes and neighbourhoods and many in government leadership who are disconnected from what is going on in the streets.

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