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The Balloon Foundation Races to Raise Funds and Awareness for Gender-based Violence

“A house where a woman is unsafe is not a home.” – Liberian saying

An unspoken fear, a hidden secret and avertable shame. Stats SA revealed that 1 in 5 South African women (over the age of 18) has experienced some type of physical violence. While that ratio is staggeringly high, the social support and insight towards victims are comparatively low. In an attempt to bring awareness to the moral disease that is gender-based violence, The Balloon Foundation held an ‘Amazing Race’ fundraiser to aid the great work carried out at the NISAA Institute for Women.

After two months of intense preparation and planning, the race took place on Saturday, 13 April 2019. The Balloon Foundation team, along with assistance from 50 volunteers, the Wits MSA (Muslim Students Association) and SRC (Fatima Laher), facilitated a fun-filled day that wouldn’t easily be forgotten.

The idea of an ‘Amazing Race’ evolved after members of the NGO’s ExCo sought advice from Islamic Careline on how to create an event that would be informative, as well as interactive and attention-grabbing. What they came up with was a thrilling 10km race, where teams would have to complete 14 challenges between both east and west campuses of Wits University. The NISAA Institute was also given a chance to present themselves at the race, and promote their work to the public.

Volunteers were at the venue bright and early to set up and the race officially started at 10:45, with teams battling it out for four hours to win an amazing grand prize worth over R15 500.00 – all of which was sponsored. Money was raised by charging each competing team R600 to enter. Fees for teams which couldn’t afford the entry cost were waived, as the ultimate point of the race was to educate the public about GBV, in addition to raising funds. Indemnity forms were checked, game faces were put on, and teams were issued with wristbands, snack packs and a map.

All fired up, the teams enthusiastically dashed through the maze of compelling challenges. ER24 Johannesburg West equipped the organisers with first aid information, for use should any incident have occurred. Sky Toys and Balloon Boutique assisted with the décor for the event.

‘The Amazing Race’ Gender-based Violence Edition aims to:

1. Serve as a fundraiser for an upcoming skills development workshop during the winter holidays. This workshop will provide GBV survivors from the NISAA Institute with essential life skills, such as budgeting workshops, self-defence classes, fitness and self-care programs.

2. Show support to the endless number of GBV sufferers by functioning as an advocacy for both students and community members who have endured GBV in some way or another, but are too afraid to take a stand against it.

3. Create awareness. As the theme of most of the challenges were centred around the topic of GBV, this allowed teams to engage with, learn more and clear up the multiple misconceptions around this crucial issue.

The race brought people of all ages, races, genders and walks of life together and involved them in a topic that needs to be spoken about, through an interactive and captivating way.

Approximately, R11 300.00 was raised from this event, a feat that wouldn’t have been possible without the great number of people who had gone over and above to pull it off.

This collection will assist the NISAA Institute in arranging a workshop for female victims of gender-based violence. The workshop will give them sustainable skills which they can use to further facilitate their reintegration into society, after facing numerous forms of trauma after being exposed to GBV.

The NISAA Institute appeals to members of the public, who may have valuable skills, to share these with the women.

 

The Balloon Foundation thanks all the teams, volunteers and numerous sponsors for their outstanding effort and support in the running of the day. Their exceptional executive committee who made this vision a reality include: Maseeha Seedat (director), Layyah Mohamed (director), Aadil Seedat, Ishaaq Sader, Yumnah Bhabha, Eesa Sader, Fatima Bham, Muhammed Kathrada, Sufyaan Patel, Mohammed Zaid Moosa, Mariya Manjre, Maryam Laher, Talhah Seedat, Nabehah Seedat and Moonisah Moosa.

The highlight of the event was certainly the positive feedback received from the participating teams which reported that they thoroughly enjoyed the day, commenting that it was well-organised and informative.

The Balloon Foundation was happy to incorporate all their members’ ideas, as they believe everyone brings something to the table; a talent that can contribute towards raising hope in communities.

 

The Balloon Foundation

071 109 9750

theballoonfoundation@gmail.com

 

NISAA Institute

011 854 5804

contact@nisaa.org.za