There are some pretty amazing women out there working to make the world a better place. Women like Oprah Winfrey and her global charity work, and Muzoon Almellehan, a Syrian refugee who has been campaigning for women’s education with Malala. Here at Volunteer Invest, we’re lucky enough to work with some incredible women. One in particular is Jackie Branfield.
Jackie was born in Zimbabwe to British parents, who instilled in her “a sense of beauty, poetry and responsibility.” She is a life-long activist, campaigning for treatment of HIV/AIDS as well as women’s and children’s rights in Africa. She fought to remove the Cautionary Rule from South African law; she was successful and now South African women can appear in courts with the same rights as men. She also successfully campaigned to have Post Exposure Prophylaxis, which cuts the chances of contracting HIV by 80% if administered in the correct timeframe, available to rape victims in government hospitals in South Africa. She continued to work with people affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa and eventually opened Operation Bobbi Bear. Bobbi Bear educates children about HIV/AIDS and provides care and legal help to victims of rape in South Africa. Her passion and commitment to others has helped countless people, and has made an immeasurable impact on so many lives.
One of our volunteers, Kathryn, got to spend some one-on-one time with Jackie during her trip to South Africa. When we asked her what stood out about Jackie, she told us “The first thing that comes to mind is her energy. Her passion, her energy, her belief that things can be better for these children, and the changes in the laws that she’s been instrumental in pushing through. She’s just this unassuming but loud person. She has no sense of belief in how wonderful she is, but she is wonderful.”
But we think Kathryn is wonderful as well! Kathryn is a nurse who volunteered at Operation Bobbi Bear. She worked with the Bobbi Bear staff in every aspect, from going on calls, to working with the police, to taking care of children who had come to stay at Bobbi Bear. She loved her experience so much that she wants to go back to Bobbi Bear and expand the work they’re doing. “What I would like to do is maybe a site specifically for boys, and looking at funding something around doing something with boys. Also, going back and doing some training for them as well as a nurse.”
We have so many inspiring women working with Volunteer Invest, from the women working at our different programmes, to members of our staff, to all our female volunteers. All of these women are working to make the world a better place for children facing major adversity across the world and changing lives for the better. Their passion, dedication, and kindness keep the mission of Volunteer Invest alive every day.
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