Alvene Rhoode – South Africa

Alvene Rhoode – South Africa


Date: December 17, 2015
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“After having a peaceful, wonderful childhood, growing up with loving parents and family, I surely did not foresee that I would become a victim of abuse

 

Alvene Rhoode is a driver of change in a big way as she managed to walk away from the abuse and is now taking charge of her life. She says, “My most memorable moment was doing the initial I-stories with Gender Links with the support of the Mossel Bay council.” Following the initial I-story sessions, two years later she provided the logistical arrangements in Mossel Bay for the FLOW follow up sessions. Accommodation was booked at one of the hotels at which she now works. As part of the planning, she did the time table schedule and programme for the duration of the follow up sessions. Sadly, she could not join the follow up I-story focus group workshop, however, she did agree to do a driver of change interview and provide insightful feedback. Alvene was able to deal with the abuse and face it. She was able to make it real and put it on the table; we were able to visit her in her new work environment and still not reveal her past ordeal.

She felt she could control the situation and that it was not controlling her. She felt empowered to make life changing decisions for herself and her son. After the GL training she got an opportunity to study a tourism course and managed to get work, the employment opportunity offered permanent work and a diploma. The municipality provided the opportunity and the journey began. As Alvene was interested in tourism they provided all the access to education she needed and travel to and from the training. The work is tourism management at a local hotel in Mossel Bay.

What this has done for Alvene as an individual, is to provide more courage for her to tackle the challenges of life, she is proud of what she has achieved and has learnt many things in the training course. Today she can apply the GL training in different aspects of her life. In her close relationships, initially she was in the abusive relationship from which she has now managed to break away and is equipped to know when she is being treated right or wrong. She is in a new relationship and happy. They met at the gender summit held in Mossel Bay. She encourages her sisters to get out of abusive relationships and she is now happy and able to tackle the challenges of life. In the community she is active in the Sunday school classes and speaks of gender roles and the equal treatment of all. The GL training must always include constant assessments and follow up. She is proud to be a host of the follow up I-stories.

People have responded negatively to her new life. Males have seen it as too bold. For the future Alvene is hopeful and is excited about meeting people and learning new things and with her marriage coming up she is in a good space. Alma, the gender focal person from the municipality, has been so helpful and the community has been so involved and given practical guidance. The few challenges involve keeping the programme constant especially for those who are abused. They need constant follow up and they get used to the abuse.

 


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