A fundraising campaign intended to help pay for therapy for the 7-year-old girl who was raped at the Dros restaurant has raised over R100 000, just under R20 000 shy from its R120 000 target.
Anonymously started by South Africans in support of the girl, the crowdfunding initiative on the BackaBuddy website was launched on October 3 and was littered with heartfelt messages from donors.
“Be blessed, little angel, and know that the nation is behind you, wishing you healing and peace,” one donor said.
“If there was more I could do to help you, I would. Just remember, you are never alone! The true South Africans will support and help you with all our might,” another donor listed as “Concerned Parent” wrote.
Screenshot of messages of support on the BackaBuddy website.
BackaBuddy spokesperson Zane Groenewald said on Wednesday that one donor pledged $2 122.47, roughly R31 000.
“All funds raised with this initiative will be strictly managed by BackaBuddy. Funds will only be released to the family directly or to relevant practitioners identified by the family,” Groenewald said.
Creators of the campaign wished to remain anonymous but posted a message on the site saying that all that mattered was prioritising the little girl’s mental health care and helping her recover.
“As South Africans, most of us were deeply disturbed about the Dros incident. It’s been a very polarizing moment in our history, but what’s most important is doing what we can to help the victim and her family to try and live a normal life from here on, and we’d like your help,” the group said.
Read: ‘He tried to flush their clothes’: Inside the Dros rape horror
“We know that rape can traumatize the victim emotionally for years afterwards, so we hope the funds raised will be used for therapy and rehabilitation for the victim so that she can have some semblance of normality or even happiness again. Any funds raised above those immediate needs will go towards an education fund,” the group said.