Fighting gravity for a good cause

Emma Graham and her daughter, Isla, doing a group plank with the Dews of Quietness volunteers and their children.

Emma Graham, of Meadowridge, and Tracey Abrahamse, of Plumstead, did a 15-minute plank, live-streamed on Facebook last week, and raised more than R20 000 for charity.

A plank is a core-strengthening exercise that involves holding a position similar to a push-up for as long as possible.

The R22 450, raised by the two women through a global GivenGain, on Tuesday September 28, will support Dews of Quietness, a non-profit organisation in Cafda Village that wants to establish a safe house there for abused women and children.

Moriedah Dien founded the organisation in 2012 after almost 30 years as a reservist and victim-support counsellor at Steenberg police station.

“In 2012, there was much gang violence, and I saw how difficult it is to get women into safe houses,” she said. “The idea is not to break up families but to restore them, to be a bridge between the victim and services, to ensure they are not left hanging in the air.”

It had been thrilling to watch the two women planking to raise money for her organisation, she said.

Dews of Quietness provides counselling; workshops; training; arts and crafts; and support for victims of abuse, women and young people, from a site it leases from the municipality. The money from the planking fund-raiser would help the organisation to set up a shelter for women and children, Ms Dien said.

The women would be taught new skills at the shelter to help them gain independence from abusive partners, she said.

Ms Graham said she and Ms Abrahamse had been two strangers who had met through an online gym.

“We united by a shared passion for exercise and a good challenge and giving back. We then discovered we live five minutes apart. One thing led to another; we teamed up to fight gravity together and raise some much-needed funds for the incredible work being done by Dews of Quietness.”

Ms Abrahamse said their previous plank record was 12 minutes. “Doing less than 15 minutes was never an option for us, only more if we could. What these victims, women and children go through on a daily basis is no comparison to the mere 15 minutes of discomfort that we committed ourselves to and dedicated to them. We just had to show up.”

Donations can be made through GivenGain at

Tracey Abrahamse and Emma Graham watching online support from all over the world during their 15-minute plank for charity.
Emma Graham and her daughter Isla Graham, left, and Tracey Abrahamse, right, visiting founder of Dews of Quietness, Moriedah Dien, in Cafda Village.
Dews of Quiet volunteers Priscilla Vermeulen, Franceline Murals, Adiela Adonis, founder Moriedah Dien and Shireen Smith.