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Cycling marathon raises funds for abused children

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A 24-hour stationary cycling marathon was held at Virgin Active over the weekend to raise funds to provide counselling for abused children.

Picture: Este van der Merwe

A 24-HOUR stationary cycling marathon was held at Virgin Active in Kimberley over the weekend to raise funds to provide counselling for abused children.

Caritas community focus marketing manager and event organiser Este van der Merwe said they aimed to raise enough money to provide counselling for three children.

“The marathon was well-supported, with individuals and businesses from Kimberley contributing towards the cause. We never slept a wink and a number of cyclists joined us between 2-4am on Saturday,” said Van der Merwe.

She stated that the Northern Cape had the highest rate of child abuse, including sexual, physical and emotional trauma, in the country.

“There are 350 reported child rape cases that occur on a daily basis (nationally), which translates into one incident every three minutes, while 45 percent of all rapes in South Africa involve children. In most cases the perpetrators are family members or persons known to the children, which often makes it difficult for them to report these crimes to the authorities.”

Van der Merwe added that while the centre offered emergency therapeutic services, their resources were limited.

“The funds will also be used to prepare a child for a court case, including the services of a psychologist, forensic social worker as well as the provision of ongoing counselling. The expenses can amount to in the region of R15,000 per case.”

The chief executive officer of Caritas Community Focus, Keydy O’Callaghan, and the programme manager of community development and social services at Caritas, Judith Evans. Picture: Sandi Kwon Hoo
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