CTW Volunteers Alumni

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Natasha (Tessa) van Wyk

Natasha (Tessa)  van Wyk

Charity: DOCKDA Rural Development Agency, Kuruman, Northern Cape

Natasha has a BTech qualification and was a Policing Detective -Investigator at the then Child Protection Unit (SAPS) Amanuenses.  She also underwent training as scribe and narrator for children with reading and writing barriers.

She will be working as a Project Officer:  Safety and Security at the DOCKDA Rural Development Agency.

DOCKDA Rural Development Agency is a non-profit organisation working in partnership with home based care organisations in the deep rural areas of South Africa’s remote Northern Cape Province.

These partnerships serve as a vehicle for building trust, sharing knowledge and information, and exchanging learning between community organisations, particularly those that are underserviced by the government. Employing an asset-based community development approach, DOCKDA’s role is to encourage and develop communities’ resourcefulness, self-reliance, independence and creativity in responding to local conditions and issues and in seeking access to resources. 

Although seemingly inhospitable, this region in the Northern Cape is home to a number of villages, situated some 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Kuruman, the main town in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district. Historically, services such as water, electricity, sanitation and roads have been inadequate; efforts to redress the lack of resources started in 2009 when clinics were built and roads tarred to link villages to the business centre of Kuruman. 

With unemployment rates of over 50%, these villages also constitute some of the most vulnerable in the Province.  Women and children experience gender violence on a daily basis, and family structures are stretched to breaking point.

Natasha’s goals will be focused on a Safety and Security Programme.  The purpose is to address the challenges facing women and children pertaining to various forms of domestic violence.  She will be aiming to:

  • To educate women and girls on their rights on how to protect themselves within the community by setting up support groups in the different villages for victims and parents of victims.
  • To pilot the setting up of a safe house in one of the villages to assist victims of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse.
  • To address the lack of transport in general in the deep rural villages where the NGO works by initiating a bicycle project. This will prevent girls from becoming victims when walking on foot to school in remote villages. This will have a further positive effect on their health and well-being. They will spend less time travelling to and from school and would have more time to study, therefor drastically improving their school results. .


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