I love the buzz of knowing that you are contributing to something good. I have never voluntary taken drugs before, but I am 100% certain that the buzz that is flowing through my veins beats any possible chemical imaginable. I am talking about the 100k in 10 Days challenge, an initiative by my friend Marelise and her sister Amelia. Last week, these two lovely chicks kickstarted this initiative to raise funds for the Saartjie Baartman Centre (SBC). The centre is threatened with closure after the Lotto failed to pay out.
In short: the SBC – situated in Manenberg, an area ravaged by violence, gang warfare, drugs, and poverty – is the only option for many women and their children to escape the chronic physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse. It is therefore the only chance to rebuild their lives. It is either that, or sleeping on the streets, or staying with their abusers. That is the horrid truth. When the Lotto failed to pay out, crisis struck. It appeared the centre had to close its doors at the end of May without a significant cash injection.
That is where Marelise and Amelia come in. They are determined to prevent this and aim to raise R100.000 (some 10.000 euro) to push the shelter through for a couple of months, giving it time to come up with an alternative funding strategy.
I have a soft spot for the centre. I sympathise with the women who live there. Like scores of women, I have been victim of abuse by the hand of men too (One ex decided to smack me in the face when I was 18. Some four years later, the guy I was dating didn’t take no for an answer in a sexual way – after spiking my drink. He also emptied my bank account: In my drugged up state, I apparently told him to draw money. To top things off, an ex – I call him the Bastard Ex – of some 2 years ago was a stealing, compulsive liar with a double life).
As opposed to the women at the SBC, I had the privilege of having a strong circle of friends and a place of safety (my home) to help me though it.
Enough about my own soap opera and back to Saartjie Baartman.
Marelise and Amelia have managed to raise R30.000 (3000 euro)! Not bad for 3 days (The challenge is only running on week days)! On top of that, the provincial government of the Western Cape has come on board: It has pledged funds to tie the centre over until September.
Last but not least, the ladies have ended up all over the news too, which is awesome! I am very chuffed that my first press release was received so well! A second one has just been issued, and I hope my media colleagues will bite once again. The more publicity, the more donations.
Gosh, who would have thought my experience in PR would contribute to something worthwhile