KWAZULU-NATAL, PIETERMARITZBURG – Launching on Friday, the 12th of August and running throughout the month of August at the Cascades Lifestyle Centre is the Cascades Women of Substance campaign.
Cascades Lifestyle Centre has selected four Pietermaritzburg women-led charities doing substantial work for women in the community, and ask Cascades residents and shoppers to vote for the woman they would like to see win. The woman with the most votes received by the end of August, will win R5 000 plus another R5 000 donated to the charity they head up.
Voting can only be done at the three dedicated voting stations located throughout the Cascades Lifestyle Centre from Friday, 12th August 2016. At each voting station there will be a pad of voting slips. Tick your favourite, add your name and signature and pop it into the box.
Says Michelle Chinnu, Property Manager at Ducatus, mastermind of this campaign, “August is about honouring hero-women and what better way to do this than highlight some of the extraordinary work being done by ordinary women in our Pietermaritzburg community. We hope that the prize money will go some way into helping them help more women in need, plus a little gift from us to say thank you.”
The four women selected are Sinikiwe Biyela (Lifeline PMB and Rape Crisis), Caro Smit (SADD – South Africans against Drunk Driving), Rene Morcom (Assist, Thandi House), and Julie Hay (Singakwenza)
Sinikiwe Biyela is the Director at Lifeline PMB and Rape Crisis. This organisation promotes emotional wellness for individuals and communities and offers a 24/7 helpline. Biyela has extensive experience aimed at preventing HIV infection, and in assisting women in their recovery from traumatic experiences. She was a finalist in the Shoprite Checkers Women of the Year Awards in 2012 for her GBV work, and in 2014, was a finalist in Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government. Says Biyela, “We are extremely grateful to have the Cascades Centre promote the services available to women in Pietermaritzburg, and look forward to this campaign raising awareness.”
Caro Smit launched SADD – South Africans against Drunk Driving – after her 23 year old son, Chas, was killed by a drunk driver. Smit believes that the best way to get over adversity is to help others. Smit says “You can help yourself overcome adversity, plus make a difference to others, by getting involved with one of many charities, or if there is not a suitable charity available – get one started!” Today, SADD supports many victims and families after drink-driving crashes and offers advice for court.
Rene Morcom is co-founder of Thandi House, Assist PMB’s flagship project. It is a family-centred home caring for sick, orphaned, abandoned, abused and disabled children of all ages as well as other services such as Pregnancy Assist, The Baby Safe and New Beginnings. Morcom believes no matter what hardships women face, women have a strength that can see them through. “Look inside yourself and believe in your own potential,” she says.
Julie Hay is co-founder of non-profit organisation, Singakwenza, which provides sustainable early childhood education in economically disadvantaged areas using resources made solely from recycling. Hay says, “Young children learn best when they are actively involved in play but the cost of educational toys is prohibitive to around 5.2 million children under the age of four. The only way we are going to change our education statistics is by improving access to early childhood development programmes.”
To vote for your Woman of Substance, visit Cascades Shopping Centre from Friday 12th August and fill out a voting form found at one of the three voting stations located throughout the Centre. Campaign ends on Wednesday 31st August 2016.