Long walk to raise pub­lic aware­ness over abuse

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SIPHUMELELE KHU­MALO

AS NEWS THAT Deputy Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Mduduzi Manana bashed two women out­side a night­club sent shock­waves across the coun­try, 13 peo­ple were busy walk­ing hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres to high­light this type of abuse.

The group, who are part of the Thato Molosankwe Foun­da­tion, have walked from Joburg to Mahikeng as part of the drive to raise aware­ness of the abuse of women and chil­dren.

They left Joburg on Au­gust 4 and reached Mahikeng yes­ter­day af­ter walk­ing more than 300km.

This walk is the foun­da­tion’s third an­nual event.

Mammy Mabe, the char­ity foun­da­tion’s event co-or­di­na­tor, said the aim of the event was also to help vic­tims find peace and speak out about their ex­pe­ri­ences.

“This year marks the third year of the walk, and there are thus far 13 mem­bers who take part, although the num­ber in­creases as the walk­ers get closer to their des­ti­na­tion.

“The walk is not limited to women. It is to en­cour­age women to ex­er­cise the same brav­ery of the women who pre­vi­ously fought for their rights, and to mo­ti­vate men to stand up and sup­port their women,” she said.

Mabe added that the walk was not just a once off event.

“We aim to make a long-last­ing im­pact by en­gag­ing with var­i­ous mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to fix ex­ist­ing prob­lems, rais­ing funds for the needy and sim­ply giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity, both through­out Gaut­eng and the North West prov­ince.”

Some of the chal­lenges they met along the way were not be­ing able to reach the com­mu­ni­ties they passed be­cause of the great dis­tances in­volved and a lack of ad­e­quate trans­port. Ac­cord­ing to Mabe, this greatly im­pacted on the main pur­pose of the walk, which was to en­gage with com­mu­ni­ties on the is­sue of abuse.

How­ever, Mabe was op­ti­mistic that there was huge po­ten­tial for the ini­tia­tive to grow.

“We have also re­ceived a pos­i­tive re­cep­tion from the pub­lic, and on our so­cial me­dia pages. I am cer­tain that by the end of the walk more peo­ple will def­i­nitely want to take part in this life-chang­ing ini­tia­tive.”

The aim is to help vic­tims find peace

UNITED: Two men tak­ing part in the walk hold posters that show their com­mit­ment to fight­ing gen­der­based vi­o­lence.

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