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MTN SA Foundation supports two safe houses for survivors of gender based violence, refurbishes women centres with ICT equipment

MTN SA Foundation has handed over and refurbished two shelters in the Eastern Cape that will serve as safety havens for survivors of gender-based violence.

Says Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, General Manager of the MTN SA Foundation: "The facilities that MTN SA Foundation has handed over in partnership with the Department of Social Development form part of MTN's support of the White Door Centres of Hope (WDCH), an initiative that MTN SA Foundation has supported for the past four years."

The WDCH is a project that identifies and renovates under-utilised spaces in communities and renovates these facilities in order to serve as a safe haven for survivors of gender-based violence.

These centres are intended as short-term safe centres where victims can access counselling, first aid, overnight clothes and accommodation while awaiting further assistance from the police, doctors and social workers. The centres are managed by NGOs in the community with the support of South African Police Service (SAPS) and Department of Justice.

In addition to the two centres handed over, the MTN SA Foundation also up-scaled and refurbished two centres in the Eastern Cape it has supported over the years with ICT infrastructure.

Mtunzi-Hairwadzi adds: "MTN is acutely sensitive of the plight of the communities it operates in. MTN's decision to support the White Door Centres of Hope is informed by our quest to provide a tangible and lasting intervention to the survivors of domestic abuse. We believe that this gesture will provide a much-needed lifeline to the vulnerable members of society who are at the receiving end of this unwarranted violation of their dignity."

Cognisant of the fact that employees are an extension of society and as such, are also susceptible to gender-based violence, MTN SA Foundation has organised an exhibition at its head office in Fairlands, Johannesburg that will pay homage to those affected by gender-based violence.

This year's exhibition provides an opportunity for MTN employees and visitors to view the artwork that highlights the various social problems that many South Africans face on a daily basis.

The MTN Activism & Awareness Exhibition reflects and acknowledges 16 Days of Activism Against Abuse of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities.

"MTN views the abuse of women, children and other vulnerable members of society in a serious light, and through its Foundation, it actively supports initiatives aimed at curbing the scourge of domestic abuse," concludes Mtunzi-Hairwadzi.

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MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: "MTN".

As at the end of 30 June 2010, MTN recorded 129.2 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. The MTN Group is a global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa and has exclusive mobile content rights for Africa and the Middle East. Visit http://www.mtn.com and http://www.mtnfootball.com.