The Karabo Mokoena Foundation, recently launched by family members and close friends of the young woman who was murdered earlier this year, aims at helping women leave an abusive relationship safely. The foundation was launched in honour of Mokoena and what she stood for.
Her family says that before her death, Mokoena was in the process of starting an organisation that would specialise in women empowerment and assist abused women and children.
It’s been almost six months since she was brutally murdered and her burnt body found in Lyndhurst, Gauteng. Her ex-boyfriend Sandile Mantsoe has been accused of killing her, and his trial is set to continue in March next year.
Michelle Daka, foundation director and close friend of Mokoena, told Morning Live presenter Leanne Manas on Wednesday that it was always her friend’s dream to start the foundation.
“We just took from the footsteps that she has already left us with. Karabo was a woman of substance and she was working with a couple of foundations, including the orphanage house group,” said Daka.
She said they’d managed to put together a few sponsors to donate a car. “She actually wrote it in her diary. She says one day I’m going to have the foundation and this is the name that it will have,” Daka added.
Boipelo Mokoena said it was her sister’s experience that made her want to start the foundation.
“It is more of her experiencing it [abuse] herself and realising, although it’s late, this is not what I want, this is not what I want another person to experience. She took it upon herself to tell people about her story so it can stop,” she said.
Daka said that even before the abuse, Mokoena had wanted to start the foundation, for children and others.
“She was that kind of person – you cannot come into Karabo’s presence with a problem and she lets you live with it – she is going to sort it out. Now she took it from the abuse and realised that this is another aspect that she can add to her legacy,” she said.
Daka said they’re partnering with other foundations and plan to launch programmes.
The foundation will help bring sponsorship and attention to other foundations until they’re in a space where they can fully manage themselves on their own, and gradually provide counselling.
“With the foundation, this is us saying we are here to help and we are here to listen as well. We can only help where we can; at the end of the day it is up to the victim to leave the relationship or that abusive background,” she said.