To: Our CMIYC Community
Under the current lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, CMIYC had to pause all activities, like many other businesses.
We had planned and worked hard for the past few months on two events which we had to postpone. During this time we cannot announce any new dates or work on additional events, an existential disaster for CMIYC. We will continue to fulfill our obligation to hold these events in the unforeseen future. Until then, our business is standing still as we rely on the active participation of our community.
We would like to take this opportunity to share our hardship and hopes.
CMIYC’s main focus is, as it has always been, to strengthen and empower our community – especially women and children. With this in mind, we decided five years ago to create the first all-women running group in Cape Town – having only seven ladies joining the first CMIYC Group Run in Sea Point. Until now, more than 50 000 women joined group runs nationwide and more than 21 000 women participated in our official CMIYC events during the past three years.
Thousands of women have formed long lasting friendships; created a healthier lifestyle and reached their running milestones. Many started walking their first 2km with us and went on to run the Comrades Marathon a couple of years later. We are so proud of the personal growth and success stories of our CMIYC community.
However, since the beginning of CMIYC, we grew without any financial backing. Being an all-women team focusing on an all-women community is still seen as an underrated niche. Many have doubted the growth and are now surprised about the vast reach and large community created through our social media networks. We have appointed more than 50 CMIYC Leaders, opened an Online Shop and held more than 40 events in Cape Town and Johannesburg. We have grown from a local running group into a national brand, yet it is still underestimated in its potential.
#1 After working relentlessly on two large events (Women For Change Run in Cape Town on the 29.03.2020, Super Women Run in Johannesburg on the 09.05.2020) to be held, we are devastated that those events had to be postponed indefinitely.
#2 These events did not receive any financial support from a sponsor, but certain costs had been paid and that money is lost. Sponsorships for events, or funding for NPO’s who fight Gender Based Violence are a huge issue even though government and the private sector have pledged to support the cause. Our events are an absolute success in terms of participation, empowering women and raising awareness about gender based violence. However, events are very costly and usually only a financial success with sponsor backing.
#3 Our exhausting efforts to fight gender-based violence with our Women For Change movement are involuntarily on hold, which hurts us not being able to help those who need us most.
#4 The CMIYC Running Club approval for 2020 was revoked last minute by Central Gauteng Athletics. A complaint was made that CMIYC is gender discriminating, as we are a women focused community. This might be a blessing in disguise for this year, but we are seeking legal advice on the matter. This has damaged our business plan for 2020, but should be dealt with for the future.
#5 Two years ago, we invested a lot of hard work to create the world’s first Women Running App to serve our community. The current CMIYC App update is on hold. Massive costs occurred to bring the iOS version up to date, now we are facing another massive quote to get the Android version updated. At this stage, it is financially impossible. Therefore we cannot promote the app to our Android users which are 60% of our community.
#6 The entire brand is still run by only three women with a vision. We have to be able to cover the basic expenses and keep the three of us ladies alive somehow.
#7 CMIYC as great a community as we are, it is still a daily struggle to keep going. Newsletters, web services, even the internet connection cost money. Money which most of us do not know how to gain and are afraid to spend on anything non-essential.
We are grateful to find support in our community. A community we have fought hard to grow.
Please support our Crowdfunding Campaign on Thundafund to enable our efforts to support women in South Africa. We’re totally overwhelmed by the support we’ve already received. It means more than you know.
We need to reach our Tipping Point of R30 000 to receive the funds. So please keep on supporting us.
We will continue to fight to keep our community alive, to support the activism against gender based violence and to change lives, one stride at a time.
Still we rise!
With love Sabrina, Leni and Nicole