Change a Life cycle race kicks off in JHB last week

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link…..This is the analogy we use in our DNA Awareness Workshops which we have now started to host throughout SA in an effort to educate first responders as to the value of DNA evidence and how to preserve a crime scene.

The message is that they (i.e. the ‘first responders’ such as security guards, paramedics or police reservists etc) are part of the ‘chain of custody’ of that evidence. If they fail to secure the crime scene and allow the crime scene to be interfered with thus resulting in the loss or destruction of vital evidence, they have effectively broken that chain. We can have all the DNA laws, forensic scientists, CSI’s and Forensic labs in place, but if we cannot collect the evidence, the rest is worth nothing.

It struck me whilst en route back from JHB today, that we can take this analogy slightly further. If we consider SA the chain, then crime is it weakest link.. Further still, if the strong part of the chain is the majority, then why is the minority, the one weak link, allowed to ruin it for the rest of us? We need to get rid of that one weak link and as the majority, take back what the minority have taken away from us. Maybe we need to go back one step and start small, with tiny gestures that collectively make us strong?

Mnandi Bestbier & Ursula du Plooy (Change a Life Trust) with Vanessa Lynch & Russell Loubser (CEO of the JSE) at The Change a Life function

Chatting to the CEO of the JSE, Russell Loubser at the Change a Life Cycle Race send off last night (The Mike Thomson Change a Life Trust is one of the DNA Project’s biggest sponsors), we spoke about this very thing. Ironically, his bicycle chain had broken on a practice run over the weekend and he pulled off the side of the road in the middle of nowhere when a man came bounding up to him, not to steal his bicycle, but to help him repair the chain. In time, the chain was put together through a collective effort and Russell was soon on his way.

It was such a small gesture, a cameo in time where camaraderie prevailed. As South African’s, we have lost this due to the small minority (the criminals) in SA casting such a large net of fear over the majority of us. Surely we should start, little by little if we have to, taking back from that small element of society what we deserve as the majority shareholders. I am not for one moment suggesting that we not be careful, but what I am suggesting is that we maybe don’t let the fear always prevail. That fear his been put there by the minority and we deserve to take some of it back but trusting each other a little more now and again. The cyclists who annually participate in the now iconic cycle race, which this year runs through Malawi, demonstrate camaraderie at the highest level.

As always, it is such a privilege to be part of this ever growing race which raises funds for the Mike Thomson Change a Life Trust, of which the DNA Project is one of its beneficiaries. Whilst the race is always an amazing event from start to finish, the reason why the race is held every year is always at the forefront of the festivities.

Philip Mellor (Commercial Director of First Freight Couriers) with Vanessa Lynch

Philip Mellor of First Freight Couriers with Vanessa Lynch

The sponsorship that this race now receives has meant that all of the cyclists entry fees can be used solely for distribution amongst the beneficiaries of the Trust. These supporters of the Trust are willing to get involved in any which way they can in an effort to strive for a brighter and safer future for all South Africans. And as the heading of this blog suggests, it is an accumulation of the small things that ultimately make the big difference. A small gesture from First Freight Couriers services means that all of our DNA Awareness booklets as well as training equipment is dispatched anywhere in South Africa at no cost to us. This is a huge saving which means with the money we save on distribution costs, we can offer more free DNA awareness workshops in SA – we need to support companies like First Freight Couriers who give freely to make a difference.

All these little changes eventually add up and suddenly, from one ‘tree’ of hope we have a forest of possibilities.


2 Responses to “Change a Life cycle race kicks off in JHB last week”

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    Change a Life cycle race kicks off in JHB last week | DNA Project – South Africa…

  2. […] 2 300 metres through the mountains of Lesotho and the final leg of the race through the Free State. Last year’s cycle took place through Malawi where the 69 cyclists managed to raise R3.5 million.   After the […]