Health-e (Cape Town)

11 February 2014

South Africa: Vital Donation Made in Fight Against Abuse

The Vital Foundation has set aside R1,9 million to assist organisations fighting the abuse of women and children.

From 12 February, organisations will be able to apply for funds, which were raised by the donation of R1 from every Vital Health Foods supplement sold.

"South African men, over the centuries, have been socialised into forms of masculinity that are predicated on the idea of being strong and tough and the use of force to assert dominance and control over women... "

Explaining the decision, Vital Health Foods Managing Director George Grieve said: "About a year ago, I was absolutely taken aback every time I listened to the news, which was riddled with stories of violence and abuse against the women and children in this country.

"As a team, we were sick of sitting back and letting this carry on, and realised it was time to take action," he said. "This was when the idea for the Vital Foundation was born. It has only been in existence for seven months, but we have raised enough money to make a substantial dent in this problem that is plaguing our beautiful country."

Vital Foundation advisor and Director of the Medical Research Council's Gender and Health Unit Rachel Jewkes said the grant's main aim would be to address behaviour change.

"We have to change the underlying social attitudes, which are partly rooted in our incredibly disturbed past and the way that South African men over the centuries have been socialised into forms of masculinity that are predicated on the idea of being strong and tough and the use of force to assert dominance and control over women, as well as other men," said Jewkes.

Find out more about the grant criteria and the application process.

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