The original idea of Ms Pat Martin and the group woman from 5 churches in Paarl in 1999 was to build a shelter to help abused women and children. In 2001 AHOS was registered as a non –profit Organisation, W.O. No. 015547.
The involvement of Ms Virginia Petersen, Provincial Director-General of the Department of Social Services in the initial discussions led to the redirection of the committee to establish a “One Stop Victim Empowerment Centre”.
A unique concept in South Africa.
The idea of a “One Stop Victim Empowerment Centre” encompasses a holistic approach to the plight of abused victims and goes beyond attending to the immediate physical and emotional needs of the victim. Its fundamental purpose is the empowerment and re-integration of the victims into society.
This whole plan has only been possible because of the initial support of the Athlone Institute Trust and support of the Western Cape and local government.
Because of the cooperation from the Allandale Correctional Centre and the Drakenstein Correctional Centre through the Restorative Justice Program the building cost could be cut with about 40%!
With the support of many volunteers, the never ending enthousiastic support and faith of Mr. and Mrs Martin, donations from local business and professional services, and a few big sponsors (local and International) the Athlone House Of Strength is now up and running and consist of:
The concept of AHOS has attracted lots of interest from the Government including a visit from the minister of Correctional Services.