Family Celebration: WavePark Gateway: Sunday 25 March
This March marks 10 years of the proactive Jes Foord Foundation (JFF): celebrating a decade of helping, inspiring and working hard to make a difference in supporting survivors of rape and their families; and teaching behavioural change to strive for a society free from rape and domestic abuse.
JFF will be honouring Jes’ journey by hosting a family fun day to thank their community, family and friends for all of their help and support throughout the first decade, on Sunday, 25 March at WavePark Gateway.
The Foundation is rooted in the personal journey of Jes Foord and her horrific gang rape by four men, in 2008. As part of her healing process, she chose not to be another rape victim, but rather a survivor, and learned to become a spokesperson campaigning on behalf of women and children who had gone through similar harrowing experiences.
South African statistics show the scourge of the problem: sexual assault, regardless of gender, is reported to SAPS every NINE minutes – and these are only the ones which are formally reported.
To this end, over the last decade Jes and her small team have initiated various projects and campaigns: the Handbag Project, the Cinderella Project, establishing the Marianhill Counselling Centre, The Young Men’s Mentorship Programme, Learners Awareness Impact Program and the Actively Against initiative.
The Counselling Centre provides need-specific counselling services for the community of Marianridge as well as nine other surrounding communities – working hand in hand with SAPS and the volunteers of The Victim Friendly Room. The Centre helps address community needs: trauma counselling, rape counselling, child play therapy for behavioural or emotional problems.
Over the last ten years they have reached over 370 000 people with their awareness programme in schools across KZN, and have given almost 3000 hours of free trauma counselling to rape survivors and their families.
Dubbed The Handbag Project, the JFF has packed and distributed over 50 000 rape comfort bags which have been donated to rape survivors all over the country. New or used handbags are donated, and packed with items which assist a rape victim during the initial reporting process at the rape crisis centres (the Thuthuzela Centres), as well as a personalised letter of affirmation, support and encouragement. A similar version is available for children: the Kiddi pack, with age-appropriate contents packaged in a child-friendly bag.
The Cinderella Project collects second-hand formal gowns and suits in good condition for donation to boys and girls at underprivileged schools for their matric dances. The Cinderella project provides the Foundation with an opportunity to expound on their focus of education and awareness as our Trauma Counsellors and Project Manager visit these schools preceding the donations and deliver workshops which educate our girls and boys about rape and the support individuals can receive from the Foundation. The Foundation also keeps a small collection of evening gowns and dresses that corporates and individuals can ‘hire’ for the night to contribute to this cause.
The Actively Against initiative was formed in 2012, to further extend the reach into KZN schools. With Jes’ message the foundation was able to reach the hearts of many young sportsmen in these schools who opted to wear green shorts in order to show their support for the foundation and what it stands for. This initiative was supported by Jonssons Workwear – a partnership which has subsequently led to the beginning the One Million Rand Project, whose aim is for 1,000 pupils or supporters raise R1,000 per pair of shorts to ultimately raise R1,000,000 towards the Foundation projects.
Upon chatting with Jes on this milestone celebration, she was asked what her wish for the future would be. She simply responded with “My long term goal is not to be needed. I’d like there to be no rape, no neeed for the foundation.”
JFF will be honouring Jes’ journey by hosting a family fun day to thank their community, family and friends, for all of their help and support over the years. Join the JFF team on Sunday, 25 March at WavePark Gateway for a fabulous, fun-filled family day as we celebrate with loads of entertainment, fun for the kids, splash pads, super slides, food stalls, gin bars and more – we promise there will be something for everyone! Live acts and entertainment line up to be announced – please follow our Facebook page for updates. All ages allowed. No food or beverages are allowed into the park, but you are welcome to bring swimming costumes, blankets and chairs.
For more info, contact JFF: 0861 333 449 /;