Sibonelo Ngubane and Sylvia Mbanjwa with the children who lives at the Velile Victim Empowerment Centre full time.

Velile Victim Empowerment Centre in eMbalenhle is the brainchild of a rape survivor, Sylvia Mbanjwa (41).
This courageous woman opened the centre in 2010 to empower other vulnerable women and children. Presently there are 22 vulnerable and abused children and seven women living at this centre.
Sylvia bears her own emotional scars from years abuse.
She said there was something wrong mentally with both her parents and her father left them when she was only two years old. Sylvia was a mere nine years old when she was first raped. The culprit was a trusted family member who continued to abuse her throughout her school years.
As a young woman, she was violently raped by another man in KwaZulu-Natal. When she found out she was pregnant, she made the tough decision to keep the child.
She came to live with family in eMbalenhle and supported herself and her infant daughter by selling spices and clothes. Her daughter is now 21 years old with a child of her own.
Her own ordeal prompted Sylvia to open a place of safety for vulnerable and abused women and children.
“As a victim, I saw many parents in eMbalenhle who abandoned their children when they go to the taverns,” said Sylvia.
The Velile Victim Empowerment Centre is dependent on sponsors and donations. Sylvia thanked all her supporters for their regular donations.
Another woman who made the Velile Victim Empowerment Centre her permanent home, is Sibonelo Ngubane (25). She was raped by her own brother, the infamous eMbalenhle serial rapist, Sipho Nkosi.
Nkosi was sentenced to life imprisonment earlier this year on several counts of rape.
Sibonelo fell pregnant because of the rape. She is raising the child on her own, as well as another child who was also conceived through an act of rape.
“God is our helper. We pray with the children each night,” said Sibonelo.
The women living at the centre are responsible for all the children’s needs, including food and laundry.
If you want to support the centre, contact Sylvia at 076 797 9142.


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