On the 11th of May, women from across different communities in Cape Town, gathered as one voice to network and support the annual 1000 Women Gala hosted by the 1000 Women Trust. The 1000 Women Trust exists as a major voice against women abuse and the exploitation of women in South Africa, by raising awareness and fundraising. The objectives of the Trust are rooted in raising the necessary funds to support women’s groups and shelters who are aiding survivors and victims of abuse.

 

South Africa is listed at number 14 on the worlds list for the abuse of women. This reality is confirmed in the fact that, 1 in 4 women will experience abuse in her life, every 25 seconds a woman is raped on South African soil and every 6 days a woman is killed by her intimate partner. With the statistics glaring the South African public in the eye, the work of 1000 Women is vitally important right now and the 1000 individuals who collectively supported the gala event, testified to this.

 

The tables gleamed and waited, cutlery in place, waiters willing to serve and everything of the finest settled in the ballroom of the CTICC. The stage stood illuminated in front, the white centre piece reminding guests of why we came, across its body read; in memory of all those women and children who have lost their lives through domestic violence and poverty. Welcoming the guests, trustees, sponsors, ambassadors and patrons was the always warm and hospitable Elana Afrika – Bredenkamp. The opening address was given by Wendy Ackerman, her words tipped with clear emotion and passion at the reality of abuse and violence in the lives of our women and our children. She called on us to remember the victims of abuse and to teach our young boys to respect and value all human life, in this way they will learn how to value and treat women.

 

Following Wendy’s strong presence on stage was the giant behind 1000 Voices. The woman who held the vision to organise the 1000 Women Gala event, Tina Thiart. Tina shared with the crowd about the main aim of the gala event, to raise funds for grass roots initiatives who are aiding abused women. The very 1st 1000 Women Gala Event held in 2004 raised just over R200 000 for these initiatives, to date 2017 was the 14th gala event of this kind and R10 million has since been raised. The first 7 years, funds raised were distributed through the Wheat Trust to women’s groups but since 2011, all funding has gone towards the shelter movement. Shelters provide places of safety and refuge to abused women and their children, but shelters are often full and cannot accommodate more residents. 1000 Women are committing to first and foremost, provide funding to local shelters and organisations who need access to funding. Tina ended her short speech with an emotional plea to build a better life together, as a community and as a whole. To work together to establish freedom and to end the abuse of women and children. How deep this conviction runs for her, is evident and the attendees at the gala witnessed that.

 

The afternoon was also filled with entertainment and fun. Attendees were treated to musical performances by soul stirring Zimbabwean artist Taps, as well as FreshlyGround’s Zolani. One hundred prizes were handed out and lucky draws rolled through the crowds. Claudia Burger, a survivor of domestic violence and Grizelda Grootboom, a human trafficking survivor, were the guest speakers for the afternoon. Their stories and truths spoke in to the darkness, sometimes shocking and other times encouraging the crowd.

 

In 2016, it was reported that 248 000 people are currently living in slavery as trafficked victims, and in the same year only 1% of these victims was rescued. There comes a moment in our lives when we need to grasp the belief that women should be free from abuse. This will not happen if good people stand by idly and do nothing. The 1000 Women Trust is an organisation birthed by a pure desire to fight for the rights of the violated, the oppressed and the broken and their doors are open for the involvement of individuals who believe in the same message.

 

How You can Help

  • Join an organisation benefitting from their grant making
  • Organise a support group for women and children
  • Donate to 1000 Women Trust
  • Donate your time and services
  • Organise a fundraising event
  • Join the organisation as an ambassador

 

For more Information about the Organisation and how to get involved visit:

www.1000women.co.za

About The Author

Lauren

Lauren is a social justice journalist who writes about womens lives, their stories and their global impact. Her work on social justice has included articles on women abuse, gendercide, female ritual servitude, female literacy and the plight of child brides. She currently has three books out and her third, a biblical novel entitled Yehudit Chosen by God, won the Desmond Tutu - Gerrit Brand Award for the best debut Christian novel of 2017. Lauren's heart is to encourage women in their daily lives and challenges, she is an international speaker and a full-time writer. Visit her website and read some of her work over at www.laurenjacobs.co.za

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