Spotlight on POWA

Source: Corbis Images

What does POWA do?
POWA was established in 1979 by a group of female volunteers to help others who suffered from domestic violence. It offered a shelter and counselling, along with legal services and support.

According to Nhlanhla Mokwena, POWA’s director, they have “national reach and presence through our telephonic counselling, advocacy, public awareness and sector strengthening work.”

POWA has published six books written by women who have suffered domestic violence. They are used to help raise awareness and explain to other people what it is like to be abused, and how the lives of women are changed when they are able to leave the abusive situation. The books are also a Powa fundraising tool.

Why does POWA exist?
POWA was formed out of the need for a body that promotes women’s rights, and recognises the injustices perpetrated against women. Their vision is to create a “safer society that does not tolerate violence against women, and where women are powerful and self-reliant.”

Where is POWA located?
POWA’s head office is in Berea, Johannesburg, but the organisation has other branches in various areas of Gauteng:


POWA has facilities in the East Rand and West Rand that accommodate 10 women and their children at any given time. Their main target is women who come from disadvantaged communities or those that cannot afford resources in their areas, although they do recognise that abuse happens regardless of race, class and gender.

How can I contact POWA?
If you’d like to volunteer or donate to POWA, you can contact them on 011 642 4345/6 or complete their volunteer form. Alternatively, you can make a donation.

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