Former PMB woman ‘treks’ against trafficking

2015-07-29 06:00
                                                                            PHOTO: supplied
Reneta Pillay is participating in the Freedom Climb in the Swiss Alps to raise funds for human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

PHOTO: supplied Reneta Pillay is participating in the Freedom Climb in the Swiss Alps to raise funds for human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

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A FORMER Pietermaritzburg woman has joined a 31-all-women global group on an eight-day trek through the Alps to raise funds to fight human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

Reneta Pillay, a chemical engineer, is representing Operation Mobilisation Africa in the Freedom Climb and has started their climb.

The eight-day, 120-kilometre hike started in Chamonix, France, and will finish in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Pillay said she became involved in the Freedom Climb through outreach work in the country.

“In my life I have been shown much grace by God and kind souls. It’s my desire to pass that on to those in desperate and hopeless situations. Our climb is a time to identify with the daily uphill climb faced by women across the continent and the world,” said Pillay.

Pillay is a former Raisethorpe Secondary School pupil and chemical engineer at AcelorMittal South Africa. Although she has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, she says the training associated with the Alps has been “strenuous”.

“These past few months of endurance training have been strenuous, filled with items foreign to me like gaiters and camel packs. But I have stayed motivated by this opportunity to be a vessel for restoration and transformation to other women,” she said.

All funds raised will be donated to the Freedom Projects, which helps vulnerable women and children. Pillay hopes to raise R45 000 for the projects.

Freedom Climb assists South Africa and other countries including Malawi, Zambia and Madagascar. Projects are designed to transform oppressed, exploited and at-risk women through skills training, education and resource development.

“Freedom Climb has also established prevention, rehabilitation and development projects aimed at creating awareness, saving and housing victims and trauma counselling,” said Pillay.

She said human trafficking is the “fastest growing” criminal industry and generates about $32 billion (R398 billion) a year.

“It is reported that the global age for human trafficking is 12 and in South Africa children as young as four are being prostituted,” she said

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