- 2014The annual Light It Up Blue event was hosted by Autism South Africa (ASA) where the Nelson Mandela Bridge was lit up blue as part of a global initiative, which aims to raise awareness and support for autism. Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s legacy as a champion for equal access to services and education, speech-language therapist and parent, Sumaya Babamia approached ASA with the idea to create greater awareness within previously disadvantaged communities. As a member of both Autism SA and F.E.E.D, a charity that works to feed, empower, educate and develop impeverished communities, there was a natural fit to join hands and pool resources to make this vision a reality.
- 2015Fellow speech-language therapist and chair lady of the Caring Women’s Forum (CWF), recognized the need for awareness of disability and access to services within the community, and came on board with the initiative.
- 2016Our flagship event, a collaboration between Autism SA, F.E.E.D, and CWF was held. 300 people came out in support of the Autism Awareness Zoo Trot. Soon after the zoo trot a meeting was held inviting members of the collaborating organizations to become part of the planning committee for future autism awareness walks. The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of the event in raising awareness among more under-represented communities, and to improve upon the practical and logistical aspects of the event.
- 2017A core group of ladies from the 3 organizations was established. It was recognized that the vision for the event reached far beyond just creating awareness and that there was a need to develop an identity that could grow as our vision and purpose expanded. And so Jozi 4 Autism was born26 March 2017, almost 1000 people descended upon the Johannesburg Zoo in support of autism awareness. You, our supporters, continue to engage with us on social media, encouraging us to imagine what is possible when we stand together in the fight for the services and support, that every family facing the challenges of autism deserves…
Gate 13, Children’s Memorial Institute
Cnr Joubert Street Ext and Empire Road