Friday, June 04, 2010

Can You Contribute To "The Handbag Project"

I've been asked to spread the word on a project run by The Jes Foord Foundation. In addition to reading this email, and maybe contributing about it, I'd also like to ask you to either link to the post on your blog, or to publish the message below in its entirety.

Basically, Jes is asking for good condition handbags (i.e. one you no longer use or one you may have received as a gift but will never use.) Not only ladies handbags but children’s and men’s backpacks as it is not only women that are raped.

Here's the message below:

One of the things many people don't know is that rape survivors have to leave their panties and whatever else they are wearing (e.g. shorts, jeans, skirt etc) with the District Surgeon.

Jes is collecting the bags and in each bag she will have put the following: (obviously it would be greatly appreciated if you could hand in a bag with a few items but, even an empty handbag is of great help and Jes will fill it)

  • Panties
  • Liquid soap (wash away the negativity)
  • Body cream
  • Sanitary pads
  • Face cloth
  • Lipstick
  • Chocolate
And a little gift e.g. when Mr Price has their sales, buy some earrings, a bracelet or whatever you feel would be a ‘light’ at this awful time.

Anything to make them feel special!

For children:

  • Nappies
  • Small teddy bear


Please would each of you write a note to the survivor. Jes said it can be a few words or an essay but something from your heart to theirs.

For example, even if you write something like “No matter what has happened you are special, and please don’t let anyone take that away from you. You can, and will, get through this. There are so many people who really care and will help you gain your strength. This gift is given to you with love from (your name)”.

When you are at your lowest, just receiving the bag with all the goodies, a simple gift that can give you hope, and hope is a fundamental step in recovery.

Just so you are aware, Jes monitors the bags she hands to the police stations very carefully (i.e. they will be sealed in a plastic bag and numbered) and, as there have been incidents in the past where the bags have gone missing, a register will be kept.

Approximately 10 bags will be given to each police station with the request that when they are down to their last two, to let Jes know so more will be supplied.

Please Note:

  • If you do not have a bag, maybe goodies to fill could be donated.
  • All goodies and bags can be dropped off at CHE architects, Unit 8 and 9, 8 Holwood Crescent, Holwood Park La Lucia Ridge (behind Toyota/Lexus in Canegate Drive) marked for the attention of Monty Engelbrecht.
If you're not based in Durban and want to mail your care package to the above address, please contact Glynis Hoaten first at

If you want to join The Jes Foord Foundation, in order to make a difference in the lives of rape survivors, click here.


Laura said...

What a stunning initiative!!!!

I am going to blog about it right now!!!

Damaria Senne said...

Great, thanks Laura. I hope many more people blog about the initiative.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

A great way to make a positive and real difference in the world. I've added this task to my shopping list and will spread the word as well!

Damaria Senne said...

thanks Judy.

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