Sept 2021 2nd edition

Giving abuse survivors a second chance

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

Nomonde Ngwenya knows too well the devastating effects of abuse and has vowed never to return to that life again.

She is currently working hard to become a successful entrepreneur, with the help she receives from a non-governmental organisation (NGO) called 1 000 Women Trust.

Ngwenya who is from Cape Town in the Western Cape, is now the proud owner of a fish and chips shop.

“It gives me so much pride to be able to sustain myself. One of the reasons that made me continue to go back to my abusive partner was that he was the only one with an income and I was dependent on him. ”Thanks to the assistance of the 1 000 Women Trust, I can now provide for myself because I have an income,” says Ngwenya.Gender-based violence survivor Nomonde Ngwenya has regained her power.

The NGO runs a programme called 1 000 Women Restart, which provides skills to women who have been abused and those who lost their jobs during the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) lockdowns.

The NGO started the programme to ensure that survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) do not find themselves going back to their abusers because of financial distress.

Spokeswoman for the 1 000 Women Trust, Tina Thiart, says their work is about empowering women with resources, skills, business mentorship and hope.c

“Our research shows that more than 52% of women in South Africa earn R1 183 per month or less. Furthermore, many women have suffered job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, while many others were victims of GBV,” says Thiart.

Ngwenya has learnt about the accounting and tax compliance side of business, as well as how to sustain and manage her enterprise.

The 1 000 Women Restart Programme uses WhatsApp to provide advice and assistance to women who want to be self-sustainable.

Ngwenya encourages women to participate in the 1 000 Women Restart Programme because the organisation has created an environment where women can break the cycle of abuse and poverty.

Over and above access to business skills training and development opportunities, the women are mentored by business coaches and offered one-on-one sessions with business leaders.

Entrepreneurs who have participated in the 1 000 Women Restart Programme are also given the opportunity to market their businesses on the NGO’s social media pages.

To find out more about the 1 000 Women Restart Programme, visit

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