Madiba benefit dinner boosts pads drive
Thousands raised for #Caring4Girls and #Trek4Mandela initiatives
ASUBSTANTIAL contribution has already been made to help girls who don’t have access to sanitary pads and therefore miss many days of school.
A Friends of Madiba Benefit Dinner aimed at fundraising for the #Trek4Mandela and #Caring4Girls campaign raised more than R30 000 by auctioning various items at the weekend.
Valdo Prosecco sparkling wine valued at R1 500 and beaded artwork by acclaimed local artist Jane Makhubela, believed to be worth around R15 000, were auctioned on Friday night to help raise funds for needy schoolgirls.
Spouses Mona and Vis Naidoo, who organised the event, invited more than 90 people who have climbed or are going to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Past and present climbers, their friends and families also attended the charity event and contributed to the initiative.
The Naidoos started the Friends of Madiba Benefit Dinner last year as part of their fundraising and awareness campaign as climbers in the 2016 Kilimanjaro expedition.
“We believe that there are many more people around the country who can also join this journey,” Vis said.
“The fundraising event and all our awareness campaigns, particularly on social media, are aimed at more than inspiring people, but call on them to take action.”
Both Vis and Mona climbed Kilimanjaro in 2016, summiting on Nelson Mandela Day, which is commemorated on Madiba’s birthday on July 18. The couple described their climbing experience as phenomenal and said it was the epitome of Africa’s beauty.
Desre Buirski, who designed the first line of Madiba shirts, which the late president was known for wearing, also attended the event.
She was joined by the likes of 2016 climber and director of Caring4Girls 2016 and Beyond, Cecile Raubenheimer; Peter Morey, a photographer who captured moments with Madiba; as well as officials from Winile Secondary School in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni, who will receive the sanitary pad donations.
Raubenheimer said she was thrilled to attend the gathering on Friday night as she wanted to share her experiences of climbing Kilimanjaro.
“On a personal level, it has been the hardest thing I have ever attempted in my life,” she admitted. Physically I am not a mountaineer at all. I like to drink wine,” she quipped.
“There are over 2 million South African girls who are denied a future and education simply because they do not have access to sanitary pads,” she pointed out.
Raubenheimer said her reason for climbing was to help girls in need. “I feel like they are actually being punished because they have a uterus. Also, every female South African has the right to an education,” she added.
“It’s about casting your fears aside in order to stand in a space for what is possible, because you believe in something that is much larger than yourself and that something is helping others in need,” she said.
Raubenheimer and the Naidoos have said that the 2016 Trek4Mandela expedition will always be known as one of the most challenging experiences in the history of the Trek4Mandela initiative.
This follows the death of South African racing car driver and adventure enthusiast Gugu Zulu last year.
Zulu died on Africa’s highest peak while trying to summit in a bid to raise funds for the girls’ sanitary pads.
He was on the expedition with his wife Letshego at the time.
“Gugu Zulu will be remembered as a hero,” said Raubenheimer.
“His legacy will remain as someone who committed his life to standing in a space of an educated future for all of us; he stood on that mountain and committed his life for that cause.”
To make a R30 donation to the Caring4Girls initiative, SMS GirlsChild to 42513.
To deposit large donations or for sponsorship options, visit http://trek4mandela.com