The All4TheBabies four-women cycling team is set to take part in the Nedbank Desert Dash in a bid to raise N$ 100 000 for the Ruach Elohim Foundation in Swakopmund.
In a media statement made available to this publication by the organisers, the four ladies will attempt to complete this year’s race of 397km within 24 hours.
Ruach Elohim Foundation is a voluntary association that aims to help prevent baby dumping and provide a safe and loving home for abandoned children from birth to two years old.
“It also offers counselling and support to the mothers of these babies and pays for their transport when they bring their babies to the foundation. Operating fully on donations, the foundation looks to afford solace to these babies while also creating a judgement-free space where Namibian mothers can seek help,” the statement said.
Despite a change in legislation that decriminalises the prosecution of mothers who give up or abandon their children, baby dumping has been on an upward trend in Namibia. According to media reports, Namibian Police recorded a total of 234 cases of abandoned babies nationwide in July 2022.
While various socioeconomic factors contribute to this upward trend, many young Namibian women are still risking punishment and continuing to abandon their babies in unsafe and life-threatening situations.
Ronel and Dick Peters established the Ruach Elohim Foundation to serve as a safe haven for women to leave their infants.
Beverley-Rae Henckert, a member of All4TheBabies, said: “Generating sustainable funding for any charity organisation is very challenging, and we hope that the funds we generate will help them extend their premises to cater for more babies. Raising children is costly. We hope and trust that the funds we raise will make a positive contribution to give the babies what they need and help reduce any financial pressure that Ronel and Dick face,” she said.
The Desert Dash race will take place from 8 to 9 December 2023.