On Friday 9 April 2021 Gerhard Botes and Deon Viljoen, who are both retired, will begin the massive task of cycling 2 900km through the Karoo and Northern Cape. Both Botes and Viljoen, who are looking forward to the challenge, are hoping to raise R29 000.00 for Huis Jabes, a sanctuary for victims of gender-based violence, located in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town.
This exciting initiative is in partnership with the NPC, Yellow For Survivors, which was founded by Leilani Kuter in 2019 to provide survivors of rape and gender-based violence with resources and safe spaces to find the support they need to start healing. Leilani is an anti-rape activist who walked 729km in 2019 and 448km in 2020 to raise awareness and funds for rape crisis organisations.
According to the annual crime statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS), the number of reported sexual offences in South Africa increased from 52 420 in 2018/19 to 53 293 in 2019/20. Botes and Viljoen are hoping to raise awareness through this remarkable challenge, bringing attention to the issue of gender-based violence.
Botes said, “We hope this campaign will shine the spotlight on gender-based violence. We trust that the awareness this campaign raises will make a positive difference to help alleviate sexual violence in South Africa.” Botes has been by Leilani’s side since her first walk in 2019, acting as cameraman, cheerleader and guardian during her walk campaigns.
Leilani explained, “Having the means to help organizations such as Huis Jabes is a great privilege and we are excited about this cycling challenge. We wish Gerhard and Deon all the best, we will be cheering them on all the way”.
The 60-day cycling journey will kick off on the Bovlei farm in the Noupoort district. From there, they will visit various towns on route to Alexander Bay, including Colesberg, Philipstown, Hopetown, Kimberley, Griekwastad, Upington, Springbok, and many more. On their return journey, they will make stops in Calvinia, Williston and De Aar and conclude their tour in Hanover.
If you would like to support this great cause, you can make a donation through Back A Buddy. You will also be able to follow these adventurous cyclists’ journey on the Yellow For Survivors social media pages.