R3.9 million raised to fight woman and child abuse

BY SUPPLIED - AUGUST 8, 2014

The impact of woman and child abuse on social wellbeing and our economy is staggering. In a study conducted three years ago by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the average cost of each domestic violence incident was R4864,64 compared with an average monthly income of R3393,28 resulting in a household deficit of R1471,36.    

Aside from the massive strain caused by absenteeism from work, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), depression or dissociation has on an industry’s workforce; the reliance on subsidised public health systems and services becomes even greater.

“Business can no longer sit back and do nothing about an issue that, not only affects civil society, but our economy as well. We have to do more,” says George Grieve, Managing Director of Vital Health Foods, the company that has leveraged its brand to focus on issues related to woman and child abuse.

Celebrating their first birthday this week, the Vital Foundation has achieved a target of raising in excess of R3,9 million, largely because of the overwhelming support they have received from the public following the initial R1 makes a difference campaign in August last year. It is funded entirely by consumers of Vital supplements; for every Vital supplement pack sold, R1 is donated to the Vital Foundation.   

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies health as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, so the imperative is on us as a business, and again business as a whole, to do what we can for people on a mental and social level too,” comments Grieve.

With the rate of domestic violence in South Africa being among the highest in the world, resulting in a workforce shaken by chronic fatigue; PTSD, depression, sexually transmitted infections, loss of confidence as well as anxiety and stress − aside from soaring medical costs and a drain on our public health system − the Vital Foundation opens for funding biannually and pays out on a monthly basis to registered organisations focusing on issues related to protection, prosecution and prevention of woman abuse and child abuse.

 Criteria for funding include:

  • that the organisation must be in existence for six months or longer;
  • that the organisation should be a formal, registered entity such as an NGO, NPO or similar not-for-profit organisation;
  • that funding will be for work directly linked to fighting women and child abuse such as prevention, protection and prosecution activities, and
  • that organisations should be willing to report on their activities and financial expenditure of the funding granted.

Between 11 August and 25 November, the Vital Awards campaign is calling on South Africans to nominate an organisation fighting abuse to receive a monthly donation.  The winning organisation will receive R35 000 and the winning nominator a Samsung prize. This campaign will run from August being women’s month to December with the last nominations submitted in November.