Philippi East police and social workers from the Department of Social Development shared their hopes for the future of girl children during the Take a Girl Child to Work programme at the police station on Monday June 10.
Four schoolgirls between the ages of 14 and 15 from the surrounding schools turned up on the day to experience what it is like in the world of work.
Sergeant Mlamli Mlumbi said the aim was to show the girls the value of their education while giving them the opportunity to discuss their views on how they envision their future.
“As people who are working in this area we have noticed a trend in young people getting arrested. We saw that there is a problem here.
“But we asked ourselves, what are we doing as police? Is arresting them going to make them change their behaviour or is it going to exacerbate it?
“We came up with this programme to show them the other side of life. We aim to change their behaviour to be good citizens. We also want them to compare the work set up with the school set up.”
Sergeant Mlumbi said they started by taking the girls around the police station and in the offices to see how it looks.
He said they are expecting the programme to yield many positives.
“We want to increase the number and we are positive it is going to increase. Those who are here today will tell the others. But we are also talking to schools to work with us,” he said.
Social workers told the young girls to hold on to their hopes of a bright future.
Olwethu Mabaso said girl children should be visionaries.
“You need to have a purpose of why you go to school. Be proud of yourself at all times. Your vision should not end at high school. Dream bigger. There will be pressure but and continue with your studies.”
Ms Mabaso said they have been giving talks to pupils at school and will continue to do so.
Nombulelo Dungelo, an auxiliary social worker, added that girl children should stay focused on their studies..
“If your mother was pregnant with you at the age of 15, that doesn’t mean you must also get pregnant at that age. Change the cycle. Life is about being focused. Have a goal and focus. Please do not do drugs and stay away from boyfriends.
Their time will come. You have a future to take care of,” she told the girls.
By the end of the day, the girls had learnt a lot from their day’s mentors and educators.