On the 31st of May 2014, the Lunching Mothers' Charity High Tea was attended by women – and a few men – from all over Gauteng and as far as Middleburg - Mpumalanga - at the breath taking African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel in Johannesburg.
The Lunching Mothers is a platform to fundraise for the Girls of Hope Programme which is a Bontlebame intervention initiative targeting pre-teen and teen girls at risk in the Winterveldt/Soshanguve area.
Speakers included Ms. Zoleka Mandela, Elaine Putter and Nawaal Mdluli Motlekar as well as Palesa Kadi of Films and Publication Board. Zoleka Mandela, our keynote speaker shared her experiences and therefore reminded us of our own strength to overcome pain including death of a child, addiction, cancer and ultimately achieving the unimaginable and living a happy, fulfilling and meaningful life. Her story also shared in her memoir 'When Hope Whispers' though penned excellently is received at a totally different level when she narrates before a live audience….there was an abundance of inspiration and not a dry eye in the house.
A big THANK YOU to our venue and scrumptious eats sponsor - the African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel and Five Roses Tea for goodies for all our guests and the tea donation to our Girls of Hope. We also thank Child Magazine, Inspiring Women as well as Mamas and Papas magazine for their amazing support making our Charity High Tea a special success.
'Woman thou art Empowered and Liberated!!' The Brunch against abuse of Women and Children hosted on 01 December 2012 was our 3rd annual event against abuse of women and children attended by just under 150 women, children and men of all ages was an overwhelming humbling success. Thanks to our panel of powerful speakers including Ms. Nhlanhla Mokoena Executive Director at POWA, Mr. Mboyiselo Botha of Sonke Gender Justice Networh, author of 'My Father My Monster', Keneilwe Mokgoko author of 'A Time to Heal', Lesego Motsepe speaking on HIV living in her body, editor of Real Magazine and Ms. Lillian Barnard - a late addition to our programme who replaced Dr. Mamphela Ramphele.
Our audience learnt about the different experiences of abuse, from Polela's abuse as a child to Ms. Mvimbi - Leshabane's secondary exposure to abuse - She experienced a family member being beat by a husband in Dudu'd presense and Ddu not being allowed to speak up. Our programme was further balanced by conversations led by Nhlanhla Mokoena and Mboyiselo Bothat who educated the audience on the support offered by their respective organisations, the nature, root and impact of abuse from a woman and a man's perspective, respectively.
There were moments of laughter, tears and heartwarming conversations, it was a morning of learning, empowerment, inspiration, healing and new connections that will last beyond the Brunch against abuse of Women and Children. Our strife to spread the message against abuse and positively impact lives of those in need continues...
Our 'Woman thou art Empowered and Liberated brunch against abuse of Women and Children' was a convergence of business, media, community leaders, artists and caring members of society who joined voices to make a statement against abuse of the vulnerable. It was an inspirational affirmation of the power within us to keep rising when we fall and most importantly push ourselves to become the best we are meant to be -in spite of our circumstances!- in summarising Ms. Barnard's words.
POWA and Motheo Wa Katlego will receive donations from the proceedes of the Brunch.
Most of us have experienced abuse in one form or the other, we have children, sisters and friends that have been raped, battered or emotionally and mentally abused...let's aim to improve life for those we know are being abused and otherwise oppressed by poverty or disease.
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Bontlebame hosted the 'Lunch against abuse of Women and Children' with Ms. Angy Diale of SABC 1 on 26 November 2011. The main objective of the Lunch against Abuse of Women and Children attended by women and a few men from Garankuwa, Mabopane, Soshanguve and other surrounding townships was to ensure that the message against abuse is kept alive and heard by our communities at large so that our people can learn about abuse, how to recognise it; deal with it, fight against it and most importantly know the type of help available.
Just as important - the lunch in support of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence towards Women and Children aimed to inspire and empower Women and Children to look and aim beyond their current circumstances. The lunch meant to blow a whistle against abuse within our homes and communities. We continue hoping that the abuser will also be encouraged to seek help to change their behavior. Thanking our supporters and sponsors: SAfm, Motsweding fm, Lethlabile Community Radio Station, Angie Diale and Lesley Fahey.
Our pursuit to create a platform for business, media, community leaders, artists and caring members of society to join voices to make a statement against abuse of Women and Children was successfully achieved on 0I December 2010 when guests convened in Muldersdrift to make a collective statement against abuse of the vulnerable.
Amongst others in attendance was the cast of Isidingo- including the daughter of our Honourable President: Jacob Zuma, Gugulethu Zuma, representatives from Government Departments; People Opposing Women Abuse(POWA), South African Football Association (SAFA), Business Woman Association of South Africa, Brothers for life; numerous media houses and other businesses. The highlight of the evening; separate from a powerful delivery by Ms.Lebo Mashile-South Africa's leading poet and performer and Dr. Phetla was Mrs. Violet Shai - wife of Mr. Patric Shai- who shared her experience of being abused for the very first time - a milestone on its own. She is one of many women that mostly confess that 'leaving my husband was not an option because I believed that the monster was not my husband'. She is also one of a few victors of abuse that are able to speak boldly and proudly testify that the husband is no longer an abuser but a caring, loving partner and father. 'We trust that initiatives such as the 1st Dinner will ignite the necessary change so that we hear more similar testimonies', said Ms Kea Modise-Moloto- host of the 1st Dinner. The messages and statements written by the 1st Dinner's guests is a reminder and tool to ensure that conversations and thoughts against abuse continue beyond the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.
Guests expressed their appreciation of lessons learnt from other's stories and encouraged us to continue hosting similar events, and we will. The host; Kea Modise-Moloto ( also founder of Bontlebame) in her vote of thanks posed a challenge to supporters of the 1st Dinner to return to their respective environments; work spaces and private spaces to continue to talk and educate our children, friends and family members against abuse - for when our caliber speak, society and fans listen; thoughts and perceptions will begin to change- influencing behavioral change. This is the objective of all our efforts..