A locally based English language radio station has launched its latest charity initiative. Talk Radio Europe (TRE) is raising money to buy a school bus for the Home of Hope for Girls, a Johannesburg institution that currently cares for 80 young girls and children.
The idea came from TRE chairman and Rotarian Martin Nathan after he was introduced to the charity by fellow Rotary Club members who had visited the home last year.
TRE has been a regular supporter of charities and worthy causes, and over the years it has raised thousands of euros for local, national and international charities.
This year, the radio station has teamed up with Rotary International to support Girl Empowerment, one of the initiatives of the organisation's current president.
Nathan thought that this would fit in well with what was being done at the Home of Hope because the facility looks after young girls that had been trafficked for prostitution and gives them a home and education, which, Nathan says, "was a perfect example of girl empowerment".
The Home of Hope for Girls was created more than 20 years ago by Khanyi Motsa, a young woman who gave up her business to take in girls as young as thirteen who were being sold into urban prostitution. The home has since saved twelve thousand girls from the streets, many of whom were pregnant or had serious health issues. They were not forced to abort their pregnancies, but were encouraged to raise their children in the home and see them educated like themselves. Many girls have gone on to further education at high schools and universities and some of them are part of the outreach services saving more girls from life on the streets.
During the centenary celebration of Nelson Mandela's life in 2018, the Nelson Mandela Foundation recognised Khanyi Motsa as one of South Africa's 'Unsung Heroes'
TRE's fundraising objective is 25,000 euros to purchase a secondhand Mercedes coach to take the girls safely to and from school on a daily basis.
Nathan explained to SUR in English that the girls "cannot walk unchaperoned as it is too dangerous, so a coach will allow them to travel in safety and comfort".
"I think that this is an absolutely fantastic project. It saves young girls from being groomed and trafficked into prostitution and instead gives them a home and supports their education.
"If we are blessed with a surplus, this will go towards the running of the home, which survives thanks to the donations of local businesses and individuals. It has never had any state support and currently has to find about fifteen thousand euros every month to support the eighty girls in residence," Nathan said.