The Rotary Club of Newlands has been instrumental in acting as the facilitating development agency and in providing professional expertise for the new Philisa Abafazi Bethu Women’s Centre (PAB) in Steenberg, Cape Town.

Lucinda Evans has been the driving force of this community organisation, which offers programmes aimed at protecting abused women and children, extramural development for youth groups, as well as senior citizens wellbeing. PAB originally started in Lucinda’s home, then in a rented building which they had to vacate after it was sold, and until recently was operating from a handful of shipping containers at a school in Lavender Hill township, an impoverished, gangster-ridden and high-risk crime area.

Funding for the project, which is always a challenge, has been sourced from several donors, with the primary donors being the World Childhood Foundation (facilitated by Breadline Africa) and the local corporate Coca Cola Peninsula Beverages. The new Centre is being developed on land leased from the City of Cape Town and supported by the City’s Mayoral Urban Renewal Project in Steenberg, next door to Lavender Hill.

It consists of 28 converted shipping containers with paved, covered walkways, new services and protected outside courtyards, creating facilities for a multi-purpose hall, two safe-houses, children’s aftercare, offices, meeting rooms, storage, a neighbourhood watch and emergency response base, and other ancillary structures. The new container structures have been painted in vibrant colours which are symbolic to the communities affected, one being a lavender colour to represent Lavender Hill township. Landscaping of the site is also being implemented with the assistance of the Rotary Club of Newlands in collaboration with students from TSIBA Business School and will include a vegetable garden for both therapeutic and resource reasons.

The project is dream fulfilled for both Lucinda and the Newlands Rotarians. The Centre is scheduled to  open on 25th November 2020 (International Day of No Violence against Women), which also marks the first day of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign against Gender-Based Violence which runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. All involved, including the local contractors have been uplifted by this project.

To see more about the wonderful work being done by Philisa Abafazi Bethu go to

New women’s centre offers hope to the vulnerable
Pictured here on the site are at left and right, John Winship and Graham Finlayson (Architect) from Rotary Club of Newlands, with (at centre) Adriaan Basson of AB Contractors.