The need to end gender-based violence (GBV) was at the forefront of conversation during South Africa’s Women’s Month (August) following a surge in cases of domestic violence during the COVID-19 lockdown. SPAR South Africa has pledged to use its vast media reach and has launched a campaign aimed at helping end GBV. As part of this initiative, the entry fee proceeds of the upcoming SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge will be donated to organisations providing support to victims of GBV.
SPAR South Africa has also partnered with the national counselling line, LifeLine, and is supporting many of the country’s care centres, including the Saartjie Baartman Centre for women and children in the Western Cape, The Open Door Crisis Centre in KZN, the Port Elizabeth Rape Crisis Centre in the Eastern Cape, and the Greater Rape Intervention Project in the Lowveld. These centres are supported by various SPAR initiatives such as the Women’s Month ‘Make Change Happen’ bracelets sold in SPAR stores nationwide.
During the SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge, taking place on 26 September 2020, SPAR will be packing a food parcel for victims of GBV for every event entry. The food parcels will be distributed with the help of the Jacaranda FM Good Morning Angels, one of the event partners.
The SPAR Virtual Challenge campaign is also doing its part to raise awareness of the GBV issue. Two of the event ambassadors, Philicity Reeken and Leilani Kuter, have both experienced GBV. They are using the Virtual Challenge platform to add their voices to the national conversation and to highlight that South Africa still has a long way to go in the fight to end such violence.
Both Leilani and Philicity have chosen to share their experiences publicly to help encourage others to do the same and to offer advice, reassurance, and hope to those who need it. Leilani advised that seeking professional help is crucial.
“Please start talking about it, see a professional person, start writing about it, reach out to support groups, reach out to me, but please do not walk alone with the pain inside you”, she said.
On behalf of SPAR South Africa, the SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge race organising team have extended their gratitude to the overwhelming response to the event so far.
“Thank you for entering the SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge and backing our commitment to support those who have experienced gender-based violence and eradicating it”, said Jerome Jacobs, Divisional Marketing Director for SPAR South Rand.
For more information visit: www.sparvirtualchallenge.co.za