TLC programmes offer abused women a way out

Nadene Roux, 44, works at TLC outreach projects

A Table View non-profit has been helping women for 25 years through various training programmes.

Colleen Pietersen, 58, founder of TLC Outreach Projects, says she has worked with people who have felt like they’ve reached “the end of the road”, but after telling their stories and getting help, they have come out stronger.

TLC teaches the women computer skills, life skills, job readiness and more. It helps them get their learner’s and driver’s licences. They are helped to break free of bad circumstances, including drugs, alcoholism, crime and abuse, and embrace a new life.

“It is also to help anyone find a purpose and to give them hope,” says Ms Pietersen.

However, those who join the programmes need to be committed and consistent, she says.

“The programmes are to encourage people to not give up on their dreams, no matter what they have gone through and to encourage them to know that they are enough.”

Nadene Roux, 44, says she struggled to find her “purpose in life,” for many years but always knew she wanted to help others. The mother of two says she spent three years in shelters away from her children.

She found a job, but after being retrenched in April last year turned to TLC for help and received food parcels for herself and her children. She now does admin work for the non-profit.

She says she “waved goodbye” to the woman she was and now has the structure and support she never had.

Annie*, of Dunoon, came to TLC for help after her husband of two years started hitting her whenever he got drunk. With the help of TLC and Ms Pietersen, she says, her husband has stopped drinking and is willing to work on their marriage.

Belinda* says she was physically abused by her boyfriend and was unable to go to work because of a swollen face and bruises on her body.

Her absenteeism led to her losing the job and she couldn’t provide for her son.

“He used to hit me in front of our son, and I would cry myself to sleep,” she says.

Her boyfriend threatened to hurt her if she told anyone about the abuse.

She says her life was starting to look like the movie, Enough, starring Jennifer Lopez, when TLC helped her to “get her life back on track” and taught her that she is enough.

She urges women going through something similar to get out and get help before it is too late.

Ms Pietersen urges the community to help her students with job opportunities. Men will be able to join TLC’s projects next year, and registration is already open.

Contact TLC at 021 204 4575 or 083 658 4032.

* Names have been changed.

Colleen Pietersen, 58, founder of TLC Outreach Projects non profit