by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – AVON has donated R600 000 (US$37 982 to fund non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working with survivors of gender-based violence in South Africa.
The pledge comes as the country commemorates 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children.
A total of seven organisations will benefit from this donation which has also been topped up by an additional donation of cosmetics and personal care products valued at R120 000.
Avon’s support of NGO’s comes in the backdrop of a launch of a global campaign by Avon and NO MORE Foundation that raises awareness about non-physical abuse and provides survivors the tools to mitigate this scourge.
The organisations that received the R600 000 cheque are People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), TEARS Foundation, Yokhuselo Haven, 1000 Women Trust, the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women & Children, Ilitha Labantu and Lawyers Against Abuse (LvA).
“The commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children calls upon each and every one of us to reaffirm our commitment to make the world a better and safer place that is free from the blight of gender-based violence in all its manifestations,” said Mafahle Mareletse, Managing Director of Avon Turkey, Middle East and Africa.
He said despite the financial constraints they operate under, partner NGOs had done a remarkable job to support survivors of gender-based violence and have served as a lifeline to many women.
“We hope that this donation will help to somewhat ease the burden and capacitate them to undertake their critical programmes,” Mareletse.
Jeanette Sera, Acting Executive Director of POWA, agreed the increase in the scourge of gender-based violence had seen more survivors relying on their services, which, in turn, has exerted a lot of pressure on limited finances.
Hence the Avon donation will go a long way towards enabling POWA to support thousands of women in need of services.
“The fight against gender-based violence requires each sector of society, whether it’s the public or private sector or and civil society, to step up to the plate and support efforts aimed at combating this menace,” Sera said.
To support women who have experienced abuse, Avon is also donating $1,35 million in grants to NGOs around the world to fund support projects for life after abuse, in its 135th anniversary year
Over the past 15 years, Avon has contributed $80 million to causes ending violence against women and girls. Over 14,2 million women have benefitted globally.
– CAJ News