Posted on Friday, July 15, 2016

How the 1st for Women Foundation is fighting gender-based violence

The 1st for Women Foundation was established with the purpose of uplifting, empowering and inspiring the women of South Africa. Because the 1st for Women customers donate a portion of their monthly insurance premiums to the Foundation, we wanted them to guide its focus. The two main causes selected were gender-based violence and cervical cancer, and these causes thus became the primary focus area for the Foundation.

To date, the Foundation is proud to have donated over R46 million towards its gender-based violence and cervical cancer initiatives. As part of the 67 minutes initiative this year, the Foundation will continue its sponsorship of #B4MD2016 (Bikers for Mandela Day 2016) with the goal of sustaining the humanitarian legacy of Madiba by supporting a number of organisations for 67 minutes per organisation.

The 1st for Women Foundation aims to contribute to the prevention of gender-based violence, and support survivors at the same time. In the past year alone 98 000 people have benefitted from the Foundation’s support across its three focus areas of community based prevention of gender-based violence; strengthening of services within the criminal justice system; and supporting organisations providing services to survivors of gender-based violence (care and support).

On Thursday July 14th 2016, the team will head to Bethany Home for Abused Women and their Children, a rehabilitation centre, to inspire the community, motivate the women at the home to take charge of their destinies and change their circumstances for the better. This year the Foundation will be donating R50 000 to the home. The team will also be painting the jungle gyms, restringing the washing lines as well as cleaning up the garden beds at the home.

The 1st for Women Foundation team along with the Bikers for Mandela Day will then make their way to the Barberton Police Station in Nelspruit on Friday the 15th of July. There, together with GRIP (Greater Rape Intervention Project) they will refurbish an area used for their victim empowerment programme.  This area is used to support victims of GBV, and is currently in a dire state and needs to be restored urgently. The refurbishment will transform the area into a safe, secure and comfortable haven for the victims and survivors of GBV.

On Sunday the 17th of July, the bikers and the Foundation team will head back to Nelspruit to plant a vegetable garden and do general repair work at a safe house for survivors of abuse.  There, a donation of R50 000 will be made to GRIP to help support and assist survivors of sexual violence and raise awareness of sexual offences within the more prominent Nelspruit area in Mpumalanga. The Foundation hopes that this project will inspire confidence in the women and children of Nelspruit to put themselves first, the confidence to walk away from an abusive relationship, the confidence to remind themselves about all that they have achieved and the confidence to love and take care of themselves.

In a country known as the rape capital of the world, gender-based violence is a shocking reality for so many South African women. The Bethany Home and GRIP projects are just two examples of how dedicated the 1st for Women Foundation is to the prevention of this injustice to the women of our country. Follow our journey as we keep inspiring confidence and making a tangible and sustainable difference to the lives of thousands of South African women.

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