Call Us: 031 206 0091
Guestspeaker- Vanessa Goosen
Vanessa Goosen
Add to enquiry box
Category:
Speaker
Location:
Johannesburg South Africa
Preferred Language:
Afrikaans, English
Tags:
Personal story,Womens Interest
Profile:
Vanessa Goosen Strategic Empowerment is a company formed by Vanessa Goosen to provide various services to the private and public sectors. Vanessa's intention was to use the company to build a brand for her motivational and inspirational speaking engagements but since the release of her best-selling book 'Drug Muled - 16 Years In a Thai Jail – The Vanessa Goosen Story', her offering evolved and she expanded to a broader spectrum of the market.
 
Born in South Africa on 18 December 1972, Vanessa Goosen had a bright future ahead of her…

Beautiful both inside and out, she reached the semi-finals of the Miss South Africa Beauty Pageant in 1994. With her modelling career taking off, Vanessa explored her passion for clothing and design, and opened an exclusive clothing boutique for men in the Carlton Centre, Johannesburg. She was soon advised to source select items for her store overseas – with Thailand highly recommended by a friend of her thenboyfriend. Vanessa subsequently found herself on a plane, leaving Johannesburg on the 10th April 1994 to embark on what she excitedly believed would be the first of many such adventures. Within the first four days of being there, Vanessa was contacted by her boyfriend's friend to collect engineering books from his brother and bring these back to South Africa for him. Vanessa was happy to help. She carried them with her in her bag throughout the remainder of her trip not giving the request another thought until she reached the airport…
 
It was then that Vanessa's world came crashing down around her. During check-in, she was suddenly surrounded by customs officers who escorted her to an interrogation room where white powder was discovered hidden in the covers of the engineering books. Unable to communicate in Thai or plead her innocence, Vanessa was led to a poster on the wall that read 'heroin = death penalty'. In that split second all of her hopes and dreams – both for herself and the baby she was carrying – evaporated as the terrifying reality of her situation began to sink in. In the hours and days that followed, Vanessa was not granted access to the South African Embassy or even allowed to communicate with her family. She was held in jail until her court date and then transported directly to prison. It was only after meeting an Australian inmate who could speak fluent Thai that her sentencing was explained to her: her death sentence had been commuted to life.
 
Vanessa's sense of hope and relief was soon suffocated by a deep anger that welled up inside of her. Only the birth of her beautiful baby girl six months later renewed her strength to carry on. For three years Vanessa focused on raising her daughter and giving her the best life possible within the confines of the prison walls. When her daughter turned three however, Vanessa had to say goodbye – entrusting her into the care of her lifelong friend, Melanie in South Africa.
 
Vanessa was subsequently moved to the main prison where she received the news that her application for amnesty had been denied. With nothing tangible to live for, she started slipping into a deep depression that lasted four years. A fellow inmate finally jolted her out of this state – accusing her of being selfish and not fighting to be with her daughter again. These words broke through the feelings of despair, anger and injustice that clouded Vanessa‟s mind and she slowly began to find her way back to herself. She realised that only by accepting her tragic situation could she redirect her energies to fight for her release.
 
When Vanessa was granted her fifth amnesty by the King of Thailand, she finally attained a full pardon. Sixteen years, six months and 16 days after being led through that crowded airport that fateful day, she found herself on a plane back home to South Africa – and allowed herself to exhale. Her emotional return to South Africa on 5 November 2010 was met with tragedy as she learnt that, just a few weeks before her arrival, Melanie (her friend) had suffered a heart-attack and passed away.
Re-united with her family, Vanessa's struggle is not yet over. Constantly forced to confront the emotional and physical scars of her imprisonment, she consciously embraces every day and its opportunities, however small. Her courage and deep sensitivity, and personal experience of despair and devastating tragedy have enabled her healing process to touch others' lives. Today, through her motivational talks for corporate and private audiences, Vanessa shares her story of defeat, hope and triumph. Vanessa has completed a book about her journey which is a local best seller and oversees a number of multi-faceted drug rehabilitation and skills development programmes.
 
For Vanessa each new day is a gift – a chance to celebrate her freedom, rediscover the joy and vitality of that 20 year-old girl with her whole life ahead of her, and share this with the world as she gently continues healing her heart, mind and soul. 
Vanessa Goosen Strategic Empowerment is a company formed by Vanessa Goosen to provide various services to the private and public sectors. Vanessa's intention was to use the company to build a brand for her motivational and inspirational speaking engagements but since the release of her best-selling book 'Drug Muled - 16 Years In a Thai Jail – The Vanessa Goosen Story', her offering evolved and she expanded to a broader spectrum of the market.
 
Synopsis:
PRESENTATIONS by Vanessa Goosen

1. Inspirational and Motivational Speaking Engagements
Vanessa shares her experience being locked up in a foreign prison being charged for a crime she had no idea she was a part of. Based on the audience she is able to focus on key challenges she had to overcome during her incarceration. She shares her experience and audiences are often shocked to hear her story and what she had overcome. Young people that hear of her experience are made aware of the dangers of the Drug Trade and the easy manner that they could get duped into carrying a banned substance without their knowledge.
 
Focus areas of her inspirational talk is
-The conditions of a Thai prison
-Giving birth in prison
-Placing my faith in the King for a pardon
-Learning about how DRUG MULES operate and the manner in which mules especially young ladies are recruited
-Dealing with guilt when Grandfather had heart attack after reading of my ordeal in a magazine
-Placing my faith in the SA government for a Prisoner Transfer Treaty
-Depression undiagnosed and untreated for 4 years
-Losing my ability to walk and talk when I gave up on life
-Finding Faith again and reason to live

2. Drug Awareness Presentations

Drugs
Vanessa is often associated with drugs due to the fact that she was sentenced to death for having the substance in her possession, yet she has very limited knowledge of drugs. She has since formed a team of former drug addicts and dealers that share their stories as well as deliver presentations on the various substances available on the local market.
Focus areas of their presentations are
-The different types of drugs available on the local markets
-The effects of these drugs
-Statistics of the drug epidemic
-Your friends and drugs
-Choices of choosing drugs and its consequences

These presentations are conducted in a two hour session by two presenters that have in depth knowledge of the local industry and the narcotics. Both male and female presenters are able to share and highlight the dangerous signs to look out for when deciding to make a choice to use drugs.

Drug Mules
While incarcerated Vanessa learned from fellow Drug Mule inmates much about how they were recruited and how they ended up in prison. While most mules find it embarrassing to share their stories as well as the face persecution from public, Vanessa finds it important to share her knowledge to warn especially young people on how they could get caught up in a situation which could cost them their lives.
The focus areas of the presentation are
-How a drug dealer wins your trust
-The gifts you are likely to receive
-Your holiday gift
-Your dream job to work overseas
-People that are in dire circumstances and desperate
-The Mule recruiters
-The methods of transporting drugs
 
This presentation is conducted in an hour session with graphic visuals taking the audience on a trip using a student as an example.

Conclusion
VGSE is rapidly expanding its offering given the current scourge of drugs in our society. We have a passion to get a warning message out of the dangers of drugs as well as give hope and inspire people not to give up no matter their circumstances. There is much interest to include Vanessa‟s book in the Life Orientation curricula at schools aimed at the youth of South Africa to highlight the dangers of getting involved in transporting drugs and what they are most likely to face when they are caught.

PRESENTATIONS by Vanessa Goosen

1. Inspirational and Motivational Speaking Engagements
Vanessa shares her experience being locked up in a foreign prison being cha
Ryder:
Add to enquiry box
Trending Tags
Enquiry Box