This version of Calendar Girls was inspired by the movie of the same name about 6 months ago. The message carried in the movie highlighted the fact that beauty and worth knows no age limits. Taking that point a bit further we realized that beauty and worth mean different things to different people. For every model featured in glamour magazines or on the catwalks across the world, there are dozens of women who in their own right are beautiful and talented.
The women who have volunteered to appear in this version of Calendar Girls are the women you will find all around you. They are the women who make the world work. A number of them have suffered abuse, either physical or emotional. By volunteering to be a part of this project, they have categorically declared their decision to put that chapter of their lives behind them.
For all those people and organizations who have so graciously volunteered their time or financial commitment to this project please know that the people who will benefit most from your commitment are amongst the most vulnerable people of our society – our women and children.
The 2012 calendar we are shooting will feature 12 women from different backgrounds around South Africa; each photograph will be themed to that particular woman’s passion. They come from various cultural backgrounds but all have one thing in common – each and every one of them is committed to fighting the abuse of women and children.
In the Beginning
The project was born out of inspiration from the original Calendar Girls Project. The creator of this version of the Calendar Girls Project played around with the idea for a while and she wanted to do a shoot for a calendar using just the normal girl you’ll walk passed in the shop, the size 12 plus girl. That is what most of us are these days.
Originally it was going to be a sideline project with friends but since mentioning the concept on twitter, it has been fast tracked by all of the ladies who wanted to be part of and who are featured in the calendar.
Why Is This Important?
Our motto ‘know your worth’ aims to empower each and every woman out there in taking back their self respect and dignity, much of which is lost when women are subjected to unspeakable degradation and abuse.
Whether it is at home or in the workplace, these women are subjugated for some or other perverse or obscure reason. There are some, who through their own inner strengths are capable of escaping from the situation in which they find themselves. However, it is a part of the modern day tragedy that a significant number of abused women have lost either the will or the inner strength to affect that escape.
There are various structures in place around the country to assist the victims of abuse and they all share one thing in common, and that is that they are all seriously underfunded. For as is so often the case, when a woman is abused her children also suffer abuse. Thus the reason for us pledging our support of the particular charity mentioned below.
The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC) was opened in 1999 as the first multi-disciplinary service (one-stop) centre for abused women and children in the country. This provided an opportunity for organisations to come together as partners to develop an appropriate on-site multi-agency service delivery model for the effective management, treatment and prevention of violence against women and children. It also presented an opportunity for a partnership approach between government departments and the non-governmental sector.
The Centre has since evolved to be the prime learning site nationally for providing holistic, integrated services to survivors of violence. Some of the services provided are managed directly by the Saartjie Baartman Centre. These include a 24-hour crisis response; a residential shelter and transitional housing for abused women and their children; legal assistance; and job-skills training. The other services are provided by organisations working in partnership at the Centre and include an after-hours crisis response for children; specialised counselling services in rape/sexual assault, drug and alcohol abuse, trauma and domestic violence; job-skills training and job placement projects; HIV/AIDS programmes; community outreach; advocacy and lobbying; training; and research.
The Centre is situated in Manenberg on the Cape Flats, an area with extremely high rates of crime, gangsterism, child abuse, unemployment, substance abuse and domestic violence. There are few resources available in Manenberg and the surrounding areas and as a result the Centre provides services to a wide range of constituencies: neighbouring townships, farming communities in the Phillippi, Constantia, and Stellenbosch areas, and ‘informal’ settlements.
For more information, contact:
PR and Marketing
Calendar Girls Project SA
cell : 082 575 6827