KZN-based non-profit, Trulife, is taking a public stand against gender-based violence with their “WeSeeYou” awareness campaign – where runners across the world have signed up to complete 100 kilometers in 10 days.
Now in its second year running, the campaign will launch on Human Rights Day – the 21st of March. The aim is to increase awareness of Gender-Based Violence – and its many nefarious forms – that are rife in South Africa. This is done in two ways; by challenging each participant’s physical limitations as a constant reminder of drawing near to a victim’s pain, and secondly, to raise funds for Trulife’s nationwide GBV awareness programme in schools on BackaBuddy.
Colin Edmonds, founder and director of Trulife, explained the concept behind their WeSeeYou campaign like this;
“GBV is a silent, behind-closed-doors killer. The WeSeeYou movement is about shouting aloud to both victims and perpetrators that we’re bringing this issue into the light. The campaign hopes to send a strong message of support to victims of GBV – one where their fellow South Africans and global community stand with them in solidarity, making a choice to ‘run, so they don’t have to’.”
The ultimate goal is awareness and prevention, and so the funds generated from the campaign go directly towards Trulife’s annual schools campaign, helping the organisation reach more schools with GBV Awareness training. In 2023, Trulife hopes to raise over R600 000 to expand their project into Gauteng and the Western Cape, visiting over 120 schools from April 2023 – November 2023.
How does the challenge work?
- Participants may enter as an individual or a team (with a max of ten members) on the Trulife website – https://trulife.org.za/weseeyou.
- The registration fee is R300 which includes one WeSeeYou branded running shirt.
- Teams may split the 100km amongst themselves as long as they collectively complete the target distance by day 10 of the challenge.
- Each registered individual or team will have a profile created on crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy with a fundraising goal of R5 000. For every R5000 raised, Trulife match the donation through private funding to take GBV training into a new school.
- Runners are encouraged to join the WeSeeYou club on Strava to log their runs and receive motivation from their fellow participants. https://www.strava.com/clubs/1020892
As a non-profit that exists to help young people make brave choices for a better future, Trulife’s Gender-Based Violence project aims to bring long-standing change in the way our country, and ultimately our youth, value themselves and others on the basis of gender and equality. Trulife hopes to empower through education and awareness, bringing to light issues of violence against women, children and other vulnerable groups. As Linda Malevu, senior facilitator from Trulife explains, “the concept of a tree is used to drive the message home – for too long South Africa’s roots, our beliefs and values, have been poisoned. No wonder we see such rotten fruit in our people’s behaviour. By changing those roots, we can establish a new way of thinking, inspiring this generation to make a change for the better.”
In order to do this, the team has created a Primary and High School anti-GBV programme that uses multimedia and group discussion to address the underlying issues that contribute to GBV culture, prevention tactics, and where to get help. Trained facilitators from the Trulife team have already traveled throughout all 11 districts of KZN in 2022, delivering this important message to over 70 primary and high schools, and creating safe spaces for learners to come forward to share their stories or find help. This was made possible through the R549 000 raised from the first WeSeeYou campaign, alongside complementary funding from the Solidarity Fund and GBVF1 Response Fund.
Trulife is calling on businesses, communities, running groups and families to take up the challenge and change the tide of GBV in South Africa – one learner, one school, one community at a time.
To embrace a shared sense of purpose and camaraderie around the event, a kick-off run will take place on Tuesday the 21st of March at Forest Hills Running Club (Forest View) at 8:30am – with the option to complete a 5k or 10k walk/run. All are welcome!
Trulife is an NPO that works to improve the lives of South African youth through educational and creative content in the form of live productions, workshops and seminars. With over 11 years of experience, Trulife work with schools, universities, and the public to create relevant, home-grown videos and materials that address social and health issues including bullying, peer pressure, drugs and alcohol abuse, human trafficking, mental health, identity, leadership and more.