Cape Flats Development Assocation (CAFDA) community development assistant, Bradley Jones took a giant 21.1km leap in just under four hours from Simon’s Town to Cafda in Retreat, on Friday June 3, to raise awareness against child abuse.
The 41-year-old Cafda Village resident walked the distance of a half marathon during what was Child Protection Week, from Friday May 29 to Sunday June 5.
He was assisted by Cafda fund-raising manager, Josephine Joseph who said Mr Jones had mentioned during a Cafda placard demonstration that he wanted to do the walk.
Mr Jones became serious about it when everyone he spoke to said it was a good idea.
After Ms Joseph hustled together a few sponsorships, Mr Jones hit the road. “I said come rain or shine, I will continue with the walk. Although I walked alone, I had the support of my team.”
“After talking the talk, he walked the walk,” said Ms Joseph who also followed Mr Jones along the route and handed out pamphlets to raise awareness about child safety.
Beverley Roode from Bicycles and Beyond, who trains children on bikes, in Grassy Park, also followed Mr Jones on her bike and stopped to walk a little as well.
Mr Jones said he walked slowly at first and then picked up the pace.
His colleagues couldn’t keep up with him and they agreed to meet at Fish Hoek. “When I stopped at Fish Hoek we hand-ed out flyers and people were really supportive. I stopped at Retreat station next and the railway police welcomed me.
“In less than four hours, I walked without realising it. Before I left, I searched Google maps and it estimated a walk of about four hours and 18 minutes but I beat that record in under four hours. I left 10.15am and got here at about 1.50pm.”
Mr Jones said he was born and bred in Cafda Village, attended Sibelius High School and has been with Cafda for seven years.
“I did not practise for this walk. I just walked, although a few people said I won’t make it. I have walked once before from Fish Hoek to Mowbray, in the Old Mutual walk, in 2012.”
Mr Jones said he will be continuing with his campaign and he will not hesitate to walk a long distance to raise awareness again. His next aim is to plan a walk in support of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.
On Wednesday June 2, Cafda staff held placards with messages such as “Protect your child” and “My child is your child”, in Prince George Drive and were supported by passing motorists.
“We received many hoots from women and men. So, we decided to take it further and on Thursday we visited the schools to hand out pamphlets on the rights of a child.”
Ms Joseph said it is important for children to know their rights as not all parents and teachers know the signs of abuse.
She said people should know that not all abuse can be healed with a bandage.
“Emotional abuse cannot be seen, but the signs are there.”