Madiba ben­e­fit din­ner boosts pads drive

Thou­sands raised for #Car­ing4Girls and #Trek4Man­dela ini­tia­tives

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - NOKUTHULA ZWANE

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://trek4man­

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