Lifestyle

We Belong Centre offers holistic services to women in the LGBTQ+ community

JOHANNESBURG – Primary healthcare clinic – Access Chapter 2's We Belong Centre – aims to create a safe space for the LGBTQI+ community that has equal access to services and human rights.

Deriving its name from Chapter 2 of the South African Constitutional Bill of Rights, the centre, based in Pretoria, uniquely provides clinical, legal and psychological services free of charge to the LGBTQ+ community women including key population groups such as sex workers.

It also offers exclusive and confidential services in order to understand the people who receive services, while recognising the responsibility to protect and promote the clients' human rights.

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' Access Chapter 2 (@AccessChapter2) December 11, 2022

AC2's New Hotline Number. Acey Thuly will be available throughout the holidays to answer all your queries. pic.twitter.com/RTmqpchsTd

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' Access Chapter 2 (@AccessChapter2) December 14, 2022

Reliant on fundraising and grants, the non-profit organisation services about 100 to 200 people including walk-in clients visiting their Information and Resource Centre.

South African LGBTQ+ and human rights Advocate Steve Letsike is the founder and executive director of Access Chapter 2. Supplied: @monD_Motadi

According to the centre's executive director, Steve Letsike, two components are critical to the NPO.

The first one is an inbound pillar that houses the clinic, legal and psychosocial units run by staff including doctors, nurses, mental healthcare workers and admitted attorneys.

The second component, comprising an outreach team conducts HIV or TB tests and performs general outreach work.

Letsike said the nature of their chain of work is to provide a 'one-stop' shop for affected clients.

Let's say a lesbian woman was harassed, victimised, and dismissed from work and would reach out to our clinic to treat wounds sustained while victimised, they will be offered to see or their case referred by the doctor or nurse to our psychosocial unit for assessment and intervention. The psychosocial unit then engages the legal unit on justice and recourse.

Executive Director: Steve Letsike (International Human Rights Advocate)

Letsike said they also appear in courts or the CCMA on behalf of their clients, and refer them to law enforcement where applicable; and once they've passed through the centre, they do follow-ups in an effort to convert one-time clients into regulars.

"This is an indication that our efforts, whether clinical, legal, or psychosocial produce key stakeholders of the centre," said Letsike.

Access Chapter 2's Team and Mx Trans AC2 attended the West Queer Carnival on Saturday the 10th of December in the West Rand Kagiso.
A day filled with colour and happiness.#WestQueerCarnival#BornThisWay#Queer#queerday#TransIsBeautiful pic.twitter.com/HtWEaXrSMd

' Access Chapter 2 (@AccessChapter2) December 12, 2022

Here are some of the centre's services:

-Health services which include screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. They also offer free hormone replacement therapy (HRT), Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ARV), HIV management (CD4) etc.

-Provision of Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and Provision for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).

-Legal services including advice and referrals especially when someone's right has been violated.

-Emergency shelter where the victim has temporary emergency accommodation and food security.

-Psychosocial and empowerment services where they offer counselling, support groups and skill-building workshops.

-Media and resources centre for internet access, research and different queer media.

Artmotion S.Africa

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