Jes Foord is a petite ball of energy and activity. Constantly on the move, always talking and laughing, her quirky and infectious personality contrasts significantly with the story that hit the South African headlines in March of 2008. Those who knew Jes will always remember the day they heard the news that the 21yr old from KzN’s Upper Highway area had been gang raped by 4 men while walking with her dad and their dogs at Shongweni Dam one Sunday afternoon. Jes¹s life had been changed forever; having suffered a crime that reportedly takes place in South Africa every 17 seconds, she realised that she had a choice: to let it destroy her, or to become a rape survivor. She remembers thinking, “You have taken my body, you are NOT taking the rest of my life.”
Now 27, Jes works full-time giving motivational talks at schools and organisations, and improving education about rape. In June 2011, The Jes Foord Foundation was pleased to announce the launch of the new Jes Foord Netcare Centre at St.Augustines Hospital Trauma Department. Her ultimate goal is to set up multiple special care centres for survivors where they can get medical, psychological and legal attention under one roof. “They will be safe, comforting, clean environments staffed by highly trained, supportive teams.”, she says.
Having formed a wonderful relationship with Jes Foord over the years, Expand a Sign has found great pleasure in providing The Jes Foord Foundation with thousands of Uzwelo Bags . These bags are then filled with treats and much needed goodies for both orphaned children and rape survivors. Expand a Sign has also donated an Umbrella and Flying Banners for Jes Foord and her foundation to use at their many annual educational and fundraising events.
For this years’ annual New Beginnings Ball, the theme of Mad Hatters was chosen. With all ticket sale proceeds going towards the Jes Foord Foundation and their Netcare Trauma Centre at St.Augustines Hospital, 180 people enthusiastically donned their craziest attire and attended the fun event, held on 2nd August 2013. Expand a Sign were naturally excited to provide 2 branded back walls, which were used as a backdrop for all party-goers to strike a pose for well-known local photographer Adrian Shields.
Although only a small offering compared to the giant challenge involved with putting an end to violent sexual crimes in South Africa, Expand a Sign knows that our donations of branding make up a valuable part in helping rape survivors to regain something priceless; their dignity and self-esteem.