Nonceba was founded in 1997 in response to high levels of reported violence against children (child rape and abuse) in Khayelitsha, which is a largely informal township in the Western Cape, located on the Cape Flats just outside Cape Town. It is the largest township in the Western Cape and has a population of 1.5 million people. According to STATS SA, more than 50% of residents are unemployed and live in abject poverty. SAPS, Crime Statistics for Khayelitsha indicate high levels of reported child rape and violence against women and children.
It is estimated that one in three children living in Khayelitsha suffers serious sexual abuse by the age of 18.
The lack of effective community emergency intervention facilities, including an over-burdened police force and an under-resourced state welfare system results in delays in response to the high burden of child abuse and domestic violence experienced in the area. Sexual abuse and violence strips women and children of their dignity. The ability to respond quickly and appropriately is essential in stabilizing survivors and supporting the healing process. The need for immediate, appropriate intervention prompted the establishment of The Nonceba Centre Trust.
Starting from very humble beginnings, the centre started in 1997 as a two-room consulting practice run by volunteers from the community with professional and financial support from some concerned citizens and Rotary. In 2008, the organization received a major financial boost for the building of a new centre. We moved into our own purpose built centre with a children’s safe house, abused women’s shelter, counselling suite, training facilities, community hall and offices. Great strides have been made in reducing sexual abuse of children in the area immediately surrounding Nonceba. Now we have the capacity to reach thousands more. The new centre hosts a therapeutic counseling clinic with five consulting rooms and a play therapy room. In addition, the new centre accommodates a residential safe house, able to accommodate 45 women and children.