It’s “my project but God’s ministry” says Vianca Kotze, 19, the youthful founder and director of Victims In X-treme (VIX), a new Non Profit Organisation (NPO) that aims to meet the needs of young people affected by sexual and physical abuse.
Strongly believing that “youth is my advantage” Vianca says she wants to make a difference where it counts through the NGO which operates in Witbank and Middelburg, Mpumalanga. She believes that “it is the ordinary people who make the difference in our lives” and that “many of our youth need help in either or both areas of abuse”. The symbol of VIX is the heart, a reminder that “someone will be there with supportive love”.
“It is a Christian NGO,” Vianca emphasises, “based on the moral foundation of Christian love.” Wanting to meet Christine Caine and when she’s old enough, to possibly intern with her programme, Vianca is in the struggle against abuse for the long term.
Having lived all her life in Witbank, a coal mining town on the South African Highveld, Vianca voices a realistic and practical outlook: “It is highly unlikely that high-powered motivational speakers would make a stop here.” She believes it falls to the real people of the town to make the difference. Vianca is that difference.
Vix, her nickname, since a small child, is special to her, which is why she cleverly “moved a few letters around, here and there,” to personalise a name for the NGO. Her intention is to protect as she believes prevention is key to minimising trauma in the lives of victims. A life time may be changed when someone has not successfully dealt with abusive situations.
Needless to say, it was a personal experience that triggered Vianca’s realisation that a very real need exists to bring healing to young hearts. Without the help and support of her mother, Iris Kotze, who always believed her, she would not be harnessing her dynamics to help others.
“My Mom is my hero,” she beams. “She motivates me, listens to me practice my speeches and find resources.” Vianca’s Mom, who has a strength-inspiring story of her own, owns and runs ‘Lamour Stables,’ a successful horse riding school. And for Vianca, who learned to ride at a tender age, horses have played a part in her personal healing process.
There is a specific healing process that needs to happen after abuse, for that person to “move on” with their lives, says Vianca. Abuse is physical entrapment, she says, adding:
• You feel broken when no one believes you because of who the abuser is, and your youth is held against you.
• When people say they will “be there for you” but it is only lip service and they let you down; you feel insignificant.
• But mostly it’s the rejection; after everyone knows you are “different” that makes the victim extremely sensitive.
Youth are typically who VIX is targeted at with relevant education on how to “wise up” about sexual and physical abuse. One aim of VIX is to eventually be able to support payment for victim counselling for lost and forgotten children and teens.
VIX is also targeted at empowering adults to raise their children effectively prepared for the world, conscious of morals, and aware of what not to do, as well as what to do, in modern society.
Studying psychology, developing and running VIX and writing a book keep Vianca busy, yet she still has time to build into the local community and pass on her passion for horses.
“People need to choose. I have to be the victor in my life,” Vianca positively asserts. “Don’t give the perpetrator power, over your life.”
Find out more about VIX on their Facebook page.