WiA-16 Days Against Women and Child Abuse
Women in Action – 4th year and counting
A total of 20,000 people took to the streets of Johannesburg this past weekend for the Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon. Women in Action joined them yet again, for the fourth year in a row, to show their support for everyone whose life has been touched by cancer.Read more
Breast Cancer Awareness in East London
Save a Tamar
Evolution vs. God
National Women’s day
National Women’s Day this year was a double celebration: one of honouring women and empowering and strengthening them through information-sharing while also celebrating the powerfully positive impact Women in Action has had in the last five years, particularly in the fields of cancer and abuse. Read more
Hidden Secret of a Woman
Thousands of women from all over Gauteng came dressed in their finest colourful traditional attire to attend the gathering for the ‘Hidden Secret of a Woman’ at the UCKG’s Cenacle of the Holy Spirit in Johannesburg on 21 July. Read more
2nd Symposium for Women
The second Symposium for Women, held in Johannesburg and broadcast live to centres in all nine provinces as well as to Zambia and Namibia, inspired almost 14 500 women to embrace their God-given talents and to realise that they have been entrusted with great things. Read more
Child Protection Week
More than 50 000 cases of violence against children in South Africa were reported between 2011 and 2012. This is the sad reality confronting the country and all those who work to protect our children. Read more
GET TO KNOW REAL “WOMEN IN ACTION”
Women from all walks of life share their experiences, the good and bad, the successes and the failures. Read about them, learn from what they have overcome and make the most of the life you lead.
I hated all men
“I remember crying and not being able to tell anyone why I was crying.” When I was six years old my mother was forced to join my father and seek employment. They wanted me and my two siblings to grow up with the best things that money could buy so we were left in the care of a nanny. The only time I got to see my parents was at the end of the month. They could not come home every day because of the distance they had to travel. Read more
UCKG’s Godllywood and Women in Action celebrate women at the first Symposium for Women
The purpose of the first Symposium for Women, held simultaneously in South Africa and Brazil on Sunday 24 March 2013, was to inspire women to see themselves as precious, beautiful, important and valuable and to encourage them to leave their destructive and damaging history in the past and change their present and future through a new mindset which believes in, appreciates and loves themselves. Read more
Controlled by evil spirits
Being raised by a single mother was not easy. Things were fine until my older brothers had to have tertiary education and we started to experience financial difficulties. My mother had to pay for them and take care of us which was really difficult. Seeing this, I became e bitter and angry towards my father. I blamed him for what we were going through. I even told myself that I would never get married because of the pain I saw my mother going through. I did not want to go through the same pain. Read more
UCKG’s Women in Action empower women on International Women’s Day
Women in Action, pastors’ wives from the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), and more than 6000 women from across Gauteng, celebrated International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March 2013 by creating awareness of abuse and highlighting the value of women at the re-launch of “The V-Woman”, a powerful book written by Cristiane Cardoso. Read more
UCKG’s Women in Action empower people by presenting facts and dispelling myths on World Cancer Day
Women in Action (WiA), a group of pastors’ wives from the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), participated in international World Cancer Day by hosting a fun family day expo at the Cenacle of the Holy Spirit in Soweto on 4 February 2013. This event, attended by medical professionals, guest speakers and thousands of community members, was one of 415 global events registered on the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) website. This is the third year that WiA, a member of the UICC, has spearheaded a health awareness campaign on World Cancer Day as part of their on-going campaign to empower communities through education and knowledge. Read more
Nothing to Lose Book Launch
WiA, a group of pastors’ wives from the UCKG, had the honour to perform during the book launch Nothing to Lose at the Museum of Apartheid on the 26th of January. readmore
WIA gets coverage overseas
(Bumper édition française AORTIQUE Bulletin novembre 2012)
read more ‘Break the Silence – End the Violence’ was the message of the day as a crowd of over 4,000 men and women took to the streets of Johannesburg in vigorous protest on a rainy Saturday, 24 November. readmore
Women in Action present “Choices” on National Women’s Day 2012
Amid the joyous celebration of National Women’s Day, the fourth annual event to be held at the UCKG Cenacle of Faith in Soweto, a minute’s silence paid tribute to those visionary women who marched on the Union Buildings in 1956. These courageous women campaigned for freedom, and to honour their legacy the capacity crowd of 7 500 women, men and children were encouraged to embrace this hard-fought freedom and make good choices for themselves. Speakers highlighted how bad choices, including procrastination and early pregnancy, low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence, impact negatively on people’s futures, urging everyone to fight back and actively embrace a brighter future. Guest speaker, SA Gospel diva and international super-star Deborah Fraser, inspired the church members with her success story before leaving to perform after President Zuma’s Women’s Day address in Pretoria. Speaking of her life, she said she suffered many trials and tribulations and had to make difficult choices. She chose to put God first and work step-by-step to achieve her dreams and realise her goals. Deborah encouraged everyone to continue working towards a better life for themselves and never to give up. readmore
The UCKG helps to empower women
Freedom has many different faces. It covers the big issues of liberty and equality but it also includes the basics that each human being deserves. In South Africa, for women particularly, freedom means the chance to choose for yourself…to choose how you want to live, who you want to live with and the freedom to make your own decisions. Women in Action have focused on empowering women to free themselves by increasing their knowledge and making their own choices. Campaigns such as The Fragrance of Freedom and Save a Tamar drew attention to human trafficking and domestic violence, urging women to become aware, to speak out and to claim their own freedom.
It’s all about you
“It’s all about You” is a cancer support group hosted by Women in Action not only for cancer patients and their families but also for those who would like to know more about cancer and its effects. The support group meets every second Tuesday to hear various speakers discuss different topics relating to cancer. Our first speaker was an oncologist who spoke about the importance of learning about cancer and its treatment. Our second speaker was a cancer survivor, Bev du Toit, who discussed how to celebrate life as a cancer patient. Social worker, Shelly Ann Bridges, was our next guest who talked about communicating your feelings and relationships. Make sure you don’t miss the next support group meeting on Tuesday, 17th April. Our speaker will be a nutritionist who’ll speak about diet and stress. Each of these topics is vital to the patient and family because it gives them knowledge and awareness about the disease as well as how to cope and take better care of themselves. The support group’s work does not finish when the session is over and the patients and their families leave. Follow-up calls are made to patients to find out how they are and to remind them of the next support session. Many have expressed their appreciation for having this much-needed support group which provides information to enable patients to better fight against the disease.
WiA warns about social networks
Young girls have to be aware that danger lurks behind the most innocent activities – and giving away too much personal information. on social networks can expose them to possible human trafficking. Speaking at Aurora Girls High School in Zola, Soweto, on 23rd March, Mrs Marcia Pires, motivational speaker and founder of Women in Action (WiA), said it was vital for girls to become aware of the dangers of using social networks. Aurora is the only girls school in Soweto. Surrounded by mixed schools, it’s naturally the place where local boys visit to look for girlfriends. Mrs Pires spoke about different forms of exploitation which include sex exploitation, forced slavery, drug trafficking, domestic servitude and organ transplantation. She said about 27 million people worldwide were “slaves”. In South Africa 30,000 children were involved in sex exploitation, 260,000 enslaved in some way and about 40,000 people were trafficked across the country’s borders. Mrs Pires advised the girls not to upload too many personal details on their profiles when using different social networks such as Facebook, BBM and Mix-it because those promoting human trafficking used such information to find victims. It was clear at the end of the talk that many girls in the school were not well informed about human trafficking and as a result did not see a problem in chatting to strangers. Mrs Maselwane, the school principal, expressed her appreciation for the talk by WiA and asked the group to visit regularly. School principals – Please note that Women in Action would welcome the opportunity to visit your school to speak on subjects which will contribute to the growth and development of your learners. Please contact us at woman2woman@ uckg.org.za
It’s all about You
Women in Action (WiA) invite cancer patients and their families to attend a support group as they journey through treatment together A diagnosis of cancer is an overwhelming situation for anyone receiving this information, but with early detection, treatment and holistic support through the journey, the outcome can be positive. Unfortunately, with the incidence of cancer on the increase and oncology units treating hundreds of patients a day, doctors and nurses do not have sufficient time to answer patients’ questions. A forum for discussion, information sharing and emotional support plays an important role in the family’s ability to cope with the disease and the journey through treatment. To help meet this need for knowledge, life skills and space to share, Women in Action (WiA), all of whom are pastors’ wives from the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), have been trained as cancer counsellors and have started a cancer support group called: “It’s all about you”. The first meeting of the support group, will be held at the UCKG, 20 Claim Street, Johannesburg on Tuesday, 6th March at 14:00. Meetings will be held twice a month for an eight-week period. A specialist will be invited to each meeting to speak on their area of expertise and to answer patients’ questions. These will include oncologists, social workers, psychologists and dieticians. Patients and their families will then meet in small groups, led by a trained facilitator, where they can learn from each other. Speaking at the launch of the support group in Johannesburg, Denise Bernstein, a cancer survivor who works with The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), said that knowledge is important in coping with the disease and the treatment regime. She said: “Patients need information on what cancer is, skills and techniques to cope with treatment and help with communicating their feelings.” She highlighted the following important facts: • Cancer cannot be caught from someone who has it, so it is not necessary for those coping with the disease to withdraw from their families and friends. • It is important to understand the type of cancer you have and to understand the treatment and side-effects. • Despite not feeling hungry, it is important to eat healthy food during treatment to help the body rebuild healthy cells. • Feelings need to be discussed openly and honestly because the recovery process affects the patient’s relationships. • Results are not always seen within the first few months of treatment, but it is essential for patients and their support system to keep optimistic and celebrate life. Trained teams of WiA volunteers visit the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital oncology wards three times a week, supporting women and children during their treatment regime in Johannesburg. Volunteers visit Cape Town’s Tygervalley Oncology wards and a team will soon introduce themselves at the Steve Biko Hospital.
Is it so glamorous?
Every young girl dreams about taking part in pageants, winning Miss Teenager, Miss School so-and so of the Year, and later on becoming a model. This dream world seems to offer a sense of power, beauty and fulfilment but so few understand the dangers that go hand in hand with it. I am not saying that every agency or any career in modelling will lead to danger, but so many take advantage of this glamorous façade to trap young women into the murky world of human trafficking. One of the most effective traps for human traffickers is the recruitment of young women with the promise of a dream career when they are only taken over the borders to serve as sex slaves. In most cases, the young woman does not involve her parents or friends in her decisions to take part in the recruitment process or consult them as a safeguard to check whether contracts are legal and above board. Too often candidates enrol, on their own, through social networks and agencies, without the knowledge of those closest to them which simply make the task far easier for perpetrators to recruit women under false pretences. These young women are taken to brothels in city centres or other provinces, if they are not sent overseas, where they become virtual “slaves”, totally dehumanised and threatened every day of their lives. Many do not live for very long after they have been trafficked because they are forced to entertain men of different ages and backgrounds without using condoms. For them contamination and the recurrence of HIV will become an undeniable reality. It is known that the repeated transmission of HIV decreases life expectancy. It will be five years at most before a young woman becomes so sick that she will be unprofitable to her pimps. Naturally, the next step will be to dispose of her. What I am saying, being so blunt, may be shocking my readers, but it is not enough to shake up many young girls who are still entertaining their dreams of fame and fortune without counting the cost. One truth is clear to me. If we are not straightforward with the facts, we will not achieve the results we want. If we do not educate the young openly and show them the dangers lurking out there, we will miss the opportunity to keep them out of trouble.
Let me share some facts and statistics which may open your eyes:
Testimony of Sandra and learn how she gave it all up! Read more Marcia Pires
WiA Launch Save a Tamar support group
Trained trauma counsellors, some of whom are survivors of abuse themselves, welcomed visitors warmly to the first support group meeting organised by Women in Action (WiA) at the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) in Johannesburg on 31 January 2012. The support group is one of many initiatives in the ongoing Save a Tamar campaign which highlights the prevalence of abuse, whether it is physical, emotional or sexual, and offers victims support, guidance and knowledge, empowering them to begin their journey from victim to survivor. Mrs Marcia Pires, founder of WiA, opened the meeting by encouraging everyone to take the first step on the road to recovery. This involved making a personal choice to accept help and work through the healing process. She said: “Victims often lose sight of the choice they have. They can choose to stay in the abusive situation or confront it and work towards changing their lives. During the acceptance and healing process, people overcome sadness, humiliation, hopelessness, pain and shame. They regain joy, start to value themselves as precious people and find meaning and purpose in their lives. Above all they learn that the abuse was not their fault – they are not to blame for what happened to them.” One of the tragedies of abuse is that in most cases the abusers are known to the victim. They may be family members, people in authority at work or friends. The victim has no safe place. Many of the WiA counsellors have overcome abuse in their lives, so are able to empathise and relate to each person individually, The group shares a word of encouragement, prayer and one-onone counselling. In most cases, the journey starts with acceptance and sharing experiences, enabling people to take control of their lives. Nobody is pressured to participate before they are ready to do so. This is their space – time for them. WiA volunteers are there to support them every step of the way. If volunteers sense the need for professional help from psychologists, doctors or the legal system, they refer the person to the appropriate contact. The story of Tamar is recorded in the Bible in 2 Samuel 13:20-29. Tamar, the daughter of King David, was abused by her half- brother. She felt condemned to a life as a “desolate woman”. Mrs Pires shared a vision of hope from Isaiah 35:1-2: “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy”. The group meets every alternate Tuesday at 5pm in the UCKG conference room in Eloff Street, Johannesburg. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, 14th February 2012. Everyone is welcome. If you wish to contact the support group, please email woman2woman@ uckg.org.za. Every case will be treated confidentially and with discretion.
Beautiful in every single way
As you know, they are pastors’ wives just trying to give a little bit of themselves to make a contribution to the communities where their husbands are working. They are called upon for many tasks and more often than not their hands are busily at work showing their talents. You might see them on Sundays as a reflection of the beauty of the women of God. These same glamorous women are willing to make a difference in the Church. They are hard workers ensuring their household and church are being provided for. And they go beyond this to serve the needy with a smile, a word of encouragement, a hug and sometimes simply by holding the hands of cancer patients in distress. In December after finishing their hospital visits for the year, they still did not rest. Find out more about our WiA members:
What is Family?
When one comes to know God and has accepted Him as Lord and Saviour, one immediately becomes part of His family. Even when trials and difficulties come, there is no need for worry or fear because the One in whom one believes is much greater than the problem. Women in Action (WiA) have become like family to those in the community, not only taking the time to empower or bring awareness to individuals but also by listening to what’s on their minds and offering counsel. We all know what being alone during the holidays can do to a person, and it’s even worse when that person is sick. WiA decided to do something special and extraordinary for the cancer patients they had visited during the year. In the last two weeks of December 2011, some cancer volunteers took time from their personal duties to telephone all the patients they had visited during the year. What a priceless time it was!
This is what the volunteers had to say after making the calls:
Taking part in the callbacks to the cancer patients was a good thing to do. It showed we remembered them, especially at this time of the year. Even though some of them were not feeling ok, but deep down in their hearts they felt special because we called them. Some of them are positive that they will be fine. I really enjoyed myself. It was such a blessing to the people even I felt revived. Hearing them say how much they appreciate these calls and how strong they felt after the call was good. One even said that by calling them, we are giving them hope again. He even mentioned that sometimes they don’t need many words, just knowing that someone cares is enough to keep them going. It was heartbreaking hearing of how some are discriminated against at their work place, being called names or ill treated by the health professionals. Some were too weak to speak, making it hard to hear what they were saying, but they kept on the line nevertheless. I was reminded about the suffering our people experience daily. The joy those calls gave to them was priceless! They were truly grateful even those who had lost a family member. We always aim to make a difference, that’s why we are called – Women in Action. Marcia Pires Photo Captions: 1) WiA hold gift bags prepared for the staff of Charlotte Maxeke Hospital during their last visit in 2011 2) Looking glamorous, WiA members who volunteer at the hospital throughout the year 3) WiA with the staff from the Oncology Ward at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital * If you have a problem and would like to speak to one of the Women in Action, do not hesitate to contact us on email@example.com