Friday, August 23, 2013

WiA making a difference

National Women’sDay this year was a double celebration: one of honouring women and empowering and strengthening them through information-sharing while also celebrating the powerfully positive impact Women in Action has had in the last five years, particularly in the fields of cancer and abuse.
The unseasonal wet August weather did not prevent 7 000 people from Gauteng filling the Cenacle of the Holy Spirit in Soweto with members from Durban, Rustenburg, East London and Port Elizabeth sharing the event through live video conferencing. Many men attended the event with Brandon Ndima and Moses Lebethe saying: we are here to honour our mothers and sisters and to acknowledge the important role women play in our lives.
Bishop Marcelo opened in prayer encouraging women to make a decision to value themselves because they are God’s creation and deserve to be treated with respect. He urged women not to accept abuse and not to be used by others and then discarded like a disposable pair of shoes. Speaking to men, he said: “Men play an important part in the treatment of women. The secret of victory is respect.”
Keynote speaker, Criselda Kananda, who is a counsellor,radio presenter a n d founder of Positive Talk Services, shared her story of personal challenges, including being diagnosed HIV + and being given two years to live – many
years ago now.
Paying tribute to the women
who marched from Johannesburg to Pretoria in protest against discriminatory legislation 57 years ago, Criselda acknowledged that South Africa’s hard-won democracy now has a different struggle: that of abuse, including substance abuse, emotional and physical abuse, financial abuse and abuse of power. She said: “Do not be victims of abuse and do not volunteer for it.” If you continue to return to an abusive situation, you are a volunteer! If you are in an abusive relationship, seek help, speak to someone about it honestly and start to work towards a different future.
Criselda shared her pillars of wisdom which include feeding our bodies with plenty of healthy fruit and vegetables which provide natural antioxidants, antibiotics, vitamins and energy.

She urged everyone to excel always and to produce quality in everything we undertake. She stressed the importance of acquiring knowledge as this is a powerful tool, and cautioned against living beyond our financial means. In conclusion she said: “Each one of us is valuable and precious. We are here for a season
and for a reason. Let us be the light for others.”

Guest speakers, including Sister Patience Mabaso from the oncology unit at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Faith Nkomo from the Teddy Bear Clinic and Thabo Dube, a social worker from the CHOC unit at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, all paid tribute to the work done by the Women in Action who are known as “the pink ladies”, thanking them for making a difference in the lives of
patients and staff. 

Marcia Pires,founder of Women in Action said: “Today we want to leave you with the idea that you can make a
difference. Great nations are born and nurtured in homes. Both women and men have a responsibility to raise solid
citizens who can contribute towards society.”
She acknowledged the many challenges to be faced, but said with perseverance, you can make a difference.

This is what Women in Action has done. Five years ago these dedicated women decided to make a difference. The decision to do something to help transform the lives of others soon became their life’s purpose as they took
responsibility for making a positive impact, giving hope and offering a brighter future to others.

Women in Action singers entertained the audience throughout the day and everyone was invited to make a donation to help support some of the many organisations and projects in which Women in Action play an important role. 

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