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Dumisani Chauke, assistant coach of the SPAR Proteas netball team, is a woman with a mission.

Since 2017, Chauke has headed the Dumisani Chauke Netball Foundation (DCNF), with the stated aim of empowering young girls and during Women’s Month, in August, she will be distributing Feme packs to disadvantaged girls in various areas in Gauteng.
“The Feme packs are sponsored by SPAR, who have shown total commitment to helping young women,” said Chauke. “DCNF has partnered with the Tshwane University of Technology and the Harry Gwala Foundation, and supported by the South African Women and Sport Foundation and BRAND SA”
“These Feme packs will include various SPAR branded toiletries, such as sanitary towels, body lotion, body wash, deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste. The aim is to help the girls to feel good about themselves and to adopt a positive attitude. This is particularly important at this time when the Corona virus has caused so much disruption in our society. Some girls simply cannot afford the basics when it comes to toiletries, and it is worse now with Covid-19 as some people have lost their jobs. I would like to thank the SPAR Group of South Africa for their on-going support and generosity for this initiative.” said Chauke.
“When you are clean and smell good your confidence automatically increases.”
Chauke said netball has opened a lot of doors and gave her great opportunities. “I was awarded a netball bursary to the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth and netball opened doors for me to get to where I am today. So, through the Foundation I would like to help those coming after me.”
“We will achieve this in various ways,” said Chauke.
“First, we assist netball skills and train girls so that they are able to earn netball bursaries to universities, therefore getting an education that can assist them towards a better life.”
“We also teach life skills. Normally we would go to schools, but we are doing this online at the moment because of Covid-19.”
“The third leg is our community projects, where we collect sanitary towels to distribute to girls who can’t afford them, and we also collect pre-loved takkies – it is no use having all the netball skills if you don’t have takkies to play in,” said Chauke.
DCNF will be distributing the SPAR Feme packs in five centres throughout Gauteng during Women’s Month. The first distribution will be at 11am on Saturday, August 1, at 119 Robert Jones Street, Eersterus in Tshwane.
“We will have hand sanitizer, wet wipes, tissues, masks and an attendance register for all guests and recipients. Safety regulations in terms of the wearing of masks and observing social distancing will be monitored and adhered to at all times,” said Chauke.
There will be handovers in Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg on August 8 and on August 9 – National Women’s Day; at Sedibeng on August 22 and the West Rand on August 30.
Bhavna Sanker, SPAR BRAND Promotions and Advertising Manager said it was fitting that SPAR would partner with Dumisani Chauke with the project. “Dumisani and her Foundation are doing great work during challenging times amongst the netball communities and as a major sponsor of netball it’s a pleasure for SPAR to be part of this great initiative.”
Photo: Reg Caldecott