Empowering today’s young girls

Founder of I'am You are, Linda Mbali.
A Khayelitsha-based organisation called I am – You Are, has dedicated itself to empowering young girls to be self-reliant.

The organisation runs a weekly empowerment programme for young women and also provides a safe space for them to discuss matters affecting them.  However, the organisation  also intends to play a crucial role in personal development of women. 

Recently social media has been abuzz with girls who are called slay-queens and this terms refers to women who do not work and use their beauty to attract men. But the organisation strives inculcate a culture self respect among the girls and urged them to work tirelessly to achieve their dreams and derail them from being slay queens.  

Last Saturday, the organisation held an uplifting empowerment session at Siki’s place in Ilitha Park. Founder of I’am You are, Linda Mbali, said she primary focus of the organisation was to develop  love for reading, promote respect, empowerment and bring opportunities to young girls. 

But she said the organisation also hopes to embark on sanitary towel collections  and books across the country with the intention of donating them in the Eastern Cape. She said last month they donated sanitary towels in one of the schools in Khayelitsha and now wants to lend a helping hand in the Eastern Cape.  

“We want to make an meaningful impact on the lives of young people. We want to want sharp the thinking of young girls. We want young women to respect themselves. We aim to share knowledge and skills among ourselves. We want women to dream big and chase their dreams,” she said. 

Ms Mbali explains that Eastern Cape was facing a lot of challenges as many villages were situated in remote areas hence she feels strongly to assist. She said sanitary towels were more expensive in the Eastern cape and also in many villages if not all there no libraries. She said reading is one of the things that children who attend schools in the villages get an opportunity to do.  

The 26-year-old, who is studying sports management at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, she said she strongly believes that as young women they should have more conversations that empower each other instead of discussions things that do not develop them. 

Ms Mbali said as young women they should create business opportunities and networking sessions for each other. She said the organisations intends to change the narratives and thinking of young women in the township through mentorships. 

She said there were many positive stories that townships has but it just that they had not been explored and talked about. She said Khayelitsha alone has produced many great leaders and innovators and wanted to use that as an encouragement for young women. 

“We want to make an meaningful impact on the lives of young people. We want to want sharp the thinking of young girls. We want young women to respect themselves. We aim to share knowledge and skills among ourselves. We want women to dream big and chase their dreams,” she said.  

Librarian in Samora, Portia Nyokana, said the organisation strives to make a difference in women’s lives. She said the ideas of donating sanitary towels and books to Eastern Cape was great. She said women living villages faced many countless challenges. She said she donated sanitary towels and books.