Activist gets recognition

2019-11-19 06:01
Lucinda Evans wins an auspicious award named after the founder of the Community Chest of the Western Cape at the 2019 Community Chest Impumelelo Social Innovations Awards, the Bishop Sydney Lavis Service to Humanity Award. PHOTO: Community Chest of the Western Cape

Lucinda Evans wins an auspicious award named after the founder of the Community Chest of the Western Cape at the 2019 Community Chest Impumelelo Social Innovations Awards, the Bishop Sydney Lavis Service to Humanity Award. PHOTO: Community Chest of the Western Cape

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Despite being recognised by the BBC as one of the top 100 most influential and inspiring women in the world for 2019, Lucinda Evans says the plight of women to be recognised for their efforts is still ongoing.

But she says she aims to rise to this challenge and continue to fight for every person in need, as they come through her door.

This year Lucinda has continued to build on her impressive list of accolades; adding her nomination for the Western Cape Commissioner of Children, her BBC nod and most recently the recipient of the Bishop Sydney Lavis Service to Humanity Award, one of the three Vanguard Awards at the 2019 Community Chest Impumelelo Social Innovations Awards.

The award ceremony was held on Sunday 10 November at the Artscape Opera House.

Desiré Goliath, public relations and communications manager at Community Chest, commended Lucinda for her hard work and said that she was the most deserving person to receive this award.

“She is an incredible, phenomenal woman. The Vanguard awards honour people who have excelled in their fields of expertise,” she explained.

Lucinda, unaware of the award she was receiving on the day, said she was in disbelief as her name rang through the hall.

“It’s a very big thing! For South Africa, getting such an award is the equivalent to the Legion of Honor from the French government that I received three years ago, and how the French esteemed that I earned that award.”

These accolades however, have not deterred her from her work as a social activist at her non-profit organisation, Philisa Abafazi Bethu.

“I’m just going to stay in my lane,” she said.

“But what this award means for me and our community in Lavender Hill, is that we now have an influencer who has been recognised by BBC – someone from the flats. This award, I dedicate to every single woman and leader in this province, in this country, and on the Cape Flats.”

Women, she said, need more recognition.

“I was recognised by the BBC. But in my country, not even my president said congratulations. What about Alan Winde, the premier – I live in the Western Cape – nothing from the premier. The only person from parliament that congratulated me was the minister of education, Debbie Schafer.

“So the core question we ask about women leaders in this province: Do we really matter? Does our voice matter?”

Lucinda wants to use these accolades not to elevate herself, but to show the world that women leaders need more support and help to serve. She added that giving up is not an option because she has to set an example to young leaders.

This means that while everyone else is winding down for December, she is gearing up for the festive season; a time that she explains becomes more violent.

Her work for the December and January period has just begun.

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