Four women travelling around Africa in an old station wagon might not sound like everyone’s idea of a relaxing trip, but a group of Witsies are making the trek to raise money for charity.

The group, named Neighbour Hooligans, is one of 60 teams entered into the PutFoot Rally 2012.  PutFoot is an initiative that aims to raise R330 000  to buy shoes for children at two schools in Botswana and Namibia, as well as providing an anti-poaching unit for a year in KwaZulu Natal to protect the dwindling Rhino population.

The group also wants to show that “a group of four girls travelling through Africa in an old Volvo station wagon” can take on the task without assistance.

“We love the idea that it is just going to be four girls in a car with little help from anyone else. The rally operates on the principle that they are not there to look after you until you reach the checkpoint. We want to show that women can do these things by themselves if they want or have to. We will change our own tyres, fix our blown headlights and find our own way to the final checkpoint,” said the Neighbour Hooligans.

The team consists of two current Wits students, Robyn van Jaarsveld, MA Media Studies and Sarah Findlay, Environmental Studies and two Wits alumni, Debbie Haselau and Karselle Moodley.

The 17-day rally will include teams travelling from Jo’burg and Cape Town to the first checkpoint in Etosha Park in Namibia. From there the Neighbour Hooligans will travel through Windhoek, the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Victoria Falls in Zambia, Lake Malawi, Inhambane in Mozambique and finally Manzini in Swaziland.

The team does have some worries as they embark on their great adventure.

“Our main concerns are about the amount of distance we will have to get through each day and how many of the things we want to see we will have to leave out. We are also a little concerned as to whether the car will make it all the way without breaking down.”

Neighbour Hooligans is in the process of raising money for their trip by looking for donors and hosting events.

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Published in Wits Vuvuzela, 12th edition, 2nd May 2012