By Oratile Otsetswe
Women in Action will host their first annual charity marathon to eliminate violence against women and children on the 9th of December in Gaborone. The event is dubbed “Run for our women and our Children” under the hash tag #hearmetoo.
In an interview with Women in Action Project Coordinator Kefilwe Tafa the main objective for the run is to commemorate the last days of the 16 days activism against gender based violence. She added that they want to bring men, women and children, survivors and some of the abused victims to raise awareness against the abuse.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign which takes place each year and runs from 25 November to 10 December. Widely known as the ‘16 Days Campaign’, it is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and the girl child.
Tafa also added that most of the beneficiaries are survivors of violence but they are suffering because they are locked up in protection homes because they live under threat while their abusers are moving on with their lives freely. She noted that they chose the hash tag #hearmetoo because the victims need to come out from their fear and it’s a call for the society to find ways to help them.
She explained that survivors in various homes have different needs and the funds that they will raise from the event will be used to support them. Tafa explained that amongst those who will be assisted is a 14 year old girl who was raped, a woman whose hands are disabled due to the violence she suffered and a woman who stays under protection at Women’s shelter who cannot financially support for her children.
Tafa concluded that they are waiting for feedback from Gender Affairs Ministry in order to finalise the partnership with other Non Government Organizations which are against women and children abuse. She revealed that when the organization grows they would like to host the event in other areas including Lobatse, Francistown and Maun. Alpha Direct Insurance Company, IT Integrators and Botswana Housing Cooperation are some of the sponsors of the inaugural marathon.