In 2000 Monique Strydom survived a four month hostage ordeal, and on the morning of her release, she vowed to dedicate her life to help fellow South Africans in need. Monique founded Matla a Bana – A voice against child abuse in 2001 after the terrible rapes of two babies in South Africa.
Since its beginnings it has grown to a national award winning charity helping thousands of children every year. The organisation works with SAPS, and its goals include having child-friendly reporting facilities at hospitals, courts and police stations. They also visit schools to educate children on how to deal with abuse.
On Monday, members of the Xtreme for Kids Cycle Tour 2018, one of Matla A Bana’s fundraising projects, visited Laer Volkskool and on Tuesday, it was Aberdeen Full Service School’s turn. They addressed the children from grade1 to grade 4, and gave a presentation about abuse, and the importance of reporting it to a responsible adult. The theme was “it’s Awe to tell someone”, (as in awesome!), aiming to empower the children to report an abuser. Each child was given a badge and an activity book. At Laer Volkskool, the organisers were thrilled when one young boy donated his R20 tuck money to the cause!
The tour departed from Johannesburg on 28 February, cycling an average of 180km per day under extreme conditions to raise awareness of child protection. So far, they have raised almost R214 000 towards the work of the organisation.