Lisa Ashton, the founder writes: "In 2004 I travelled to South Africa to make a TV programme that marked 10 years of the end of apartheid. The programme celebrated people who had made a difference in their communities and Winnie Mabaso was one of the interviewees. Winnie was the most amazing woman I have ever met. She cared almost single-handedly for orphans in the informal settlement of Finetown, South of Johannesburg, providing them with bowls of soup and armfuls of love.
On that trip Winnie told me of a myth that was circulating the township, that if a man had HIV/AIDS and slept with a virgin he would be cured. As a result children, who had been through the trauma of losing their parents to the virus, were being raped by men who were desperately looking for a cure for themselves. Winnie asked for my help and I couldn’t say no. The Winnie Mabaso Foundation was born.
When I returned to the UK I began fundraising to enable Winnie to have the safe-haven she desired and it wasn’t long before Winnie and the children moved in.
Sadly, just a few short months later, Winnie passed away suddenly. At her funeral as the children stood hand in hand around her coffin, I knew that her dream could not die with her and made my promise to Winnie that I would do all I could to keep her legacy alive.
For 9 years I juggled my work at the BBC with running the Foundation but in 2013 I handed in my notice and began working for the Foundation full time".
If you would like to make a donation to the Foundation, please click HERE