Newcastle Crisis Centre is a beacon of hope for victims of abuse. A place of refuge for women and children who have faced horrific abuse.
However, despite reaching out those in need, it seems that not even the Newcastle Crisis Centre is safe from villainous fiends.
On Wednesday night, February 19, suspects broke into the centre’s premises, stealing their car’s battery. Leaving the staff unable to carry out all their duties.
Mary Dobbie of Newcastle Crisis Centre explains the incident unfolded when she asked the centre’s house mother, Nomvelo Buthelezi to fetch her on the way to work.
“My car is in the garage and I needed a ride to work. On the way to the Crisis Centre, Nomvelo’s car battery died.”
Stuck alongside the road, the two women were overjoyed when an employee of Sanco Industrial and Safety pulled over to assist them.
“Not only did he take me to my 10am appointment, but he also took Nomvelo to Battery Centre to buy a new battery before taking her back to the car and fitting the battery in for her.”
With the new battery, Nomvelo could continue fulfilling her duties. “I use the car for everything. From buying groceries for the Crisis Centre; taking the people in our care to Madadeni Hospital, the clinics and even to the police station for their affidavits.”
On Thursday morning, February 20, Nomvelo wanted to go fetch Mary again, before taking a woman in the Crisis Centre’s care to Madadeni Hospital.
“When I got into the car and tried to start it, nothing happened,” she says.
Mary was able to get a lift to the Crisis Centre and immediately contacted Battery Centre. “A man from Battery Centre went out of his way to help us. He actually came all the way to the centre to see what was wrong.”
When he opened the car’s bonnet, it was discovered the battery had been stolen during the night.
“The man from Battery Centre went back to his shop and brought us a new battery, fitting it for us as well. As we cannot afford to purchase another battery right now, he was kind enough to give us until the end of the month.”
While overjoyed at the kindness of two strangers, the theft of the car battery has left Mary and Nomvelo disheartened.
“Who steals from an NGO? We truly serve the community. There is so much violence against women and children, so many people without food that we also try to assist. This car is an important tool for us through our daily routine and someone still targeted us,” Mary emphasises.
Nomvelo adds that because of the theft, she was unable to take a woman in need to the hospital.
Running on an already tight budget to help the women and children of the Newcastle community, the Newcastle Crisis Centre now has to fork out another R900 for a car battery.
If anyone would like to assist the Newcastle Crisis Centre, they can contact Mary Dobbie on 034 315 3389.