President declares GBV a second pandemic
After President Cyril Ramaphosa described gender-based violence as a second pandemic, the Hope Givers Foundation is on a mission to stop it.
“It has always been among the ills South Africa has fought against and with the Covid-19 pandemic which claimed and continues to claim lives, jobs and businesses; the numbers and cases of abuse are sky-rocketing-,” said Tsakani Mkhari the founder.
She said that after hearing the president’s message, the foundation has pledged to play a role in fighting “this monster and support survivors of gender-based violence.”
Since its inception in 2014, the foundation has come up with different initiatives to stop the scourge.
This time the foundation has partnered with National Lottery Commission, Brand South Africa, Murangi Productions, the President’s Award and AMKA to host the 1st annual Gender-Based Violence Tribute Concert and Raising Legends Awards on 1 May 2020 at Meropa Casino, Limpopo.
This follows the launching four years ago of one of the foundation’s initiatives called Raising Legends.
“This great initiative was endorsed and recognised by Brand South Africa in 2019 as the best initiative which positively advocates for a boy child. The purpose of this initiative is to create a brotherhood and safe space for young boys and men between the ages of 11 years and 35-years-old- to have conversations of hope through different programmes of education and mentorship,” said Mkhari.
“The main aim is to create awareness on the importance of grooming, supporting and embracing a boy child- to help reduce criminal activities in communities, schools, workplaces et cetera- by building emotionally and intellectually well-rounded youth to become active members, future and responsible leaders of society.”
According to her, the initiative is also supported and endorsed by many well-known personalities and dignitaries.
They include multi awarding actors Jerry Mofokeng, Patrick Shai and Africa Tsoai, Dingaan Thobela, Brian Temba, Mahlatze Vocal, DJ Cappucino, Meshack Kekana, comedian Thato Jason Malebati, Hector Motau, Itumeleng Selepe, Abel Rakoma, Tumi Sole and political leader Donald Selamolela.
“There’s a crisis of rising Gender-Based Violence in our country which has become another pandemic that has to be dealt with, and we strongly believe that to address the issue effectively, one of the things is to develop and empower a boy child as that way we actively balance the gender scale,” she said. “It goes without saying only women and girls have been getting attention and consideration as they are seen as more vulnerable to abuse, attacks and being less privileged- which is true. However, what many fails to appreciate is the fact that a boy child has the same or even worse challenges as a girl child, “she added.
She said the prevalent view was that a boy and girl child should co-exist and receive similar attention and support.
“There is a social phenomenon where the boy child is neglected and not embraced. Boys are the unsung heroes and they also face challenges, like mental harassment, abuse, rape etc. Girls have all the social rights but boys have little to no voice. Even their own parents sometimes seldom believe in them,” says Tsakani.
She said when one saves the boy child from all these, by defending and fighting for his rights, one saves a whole generation. That boy, upon growing up into a responsible man, father and husband- mentors his generation in the same way, all down his lineage. she said
She said the GBV Tribute Concert will see citizens, churches, business, government and civil society come together in one voice, remembering those who have lost their lives due to abuse, crime, drug abuse, suicide and mental health issues.
“Citizens will be encouraged to pledge their love and support for women and children. Most importantly- victims and survivors of GBV will share their stories on the day, and the foundation with the assistance of sponsors will facilitate the process of recovery, counselling and other interventions required by the victims,” says Tsakani.
According to her, the concert line-up will include some of the biggest artists in South Africa and is aimed at raising awareness and emphasize the importance of effectively fighting gender-based violence from all angles.
“The foundation aims to improve young people’s lives and the community at large- through education, empowerment and social economic development projects, the area of focus being largely on youth development, early childhood development, education support, social issues advocacy, to mention some.
Since its inception, it has been involved in several life changing initiatives, such as Girls with purpose seminar, Back to school, Tertiary applications and learnership drive, just to mention a few.