Empowering young girls in Khayelitsha

Young girls were excited to be part of the Girls Talk discussion.

Girls are a precious gift from God and should treat their bodies with respect. This was the message that reverberated through the halls of Isivivana centre in Khayelitsha recently when the organisation held an empowering discussion themed Girls Talk.

The event aimed to caution young girls about the dangers and consequences of making uninformed life choices.

But most importantly, the discussion focused on inspiring girls to find their purpose in life.

Isivivana centre director, Bulelwa Ndibhongo, said she wants these girls to respect their bodies and behave like queens and princesses.

She wants them to define or redefine their life journeys and work towards turning their dreams into reality.

Ms Ndibhongo said girls were vulnerable and need proper guidance. They should be taught the culture of independence and self-reliance.

She said there were many challenges that young girls faced, which forced them to make regrettable life choices.

Ms Ndibhongo said this was not the first time that they had held such an event.

She said if young girls were equipped with critical knowledge in the early years of their life, they stood a better chance of making wise life decisions.

She said one of the messages she emphasised was that girls should not do things to impress others.

But rather, she said, they should do things that satisfy their souls.

She said they should not rush to engage in sexual activities but should focus more on their studies instead.

They must put education first and obey their parents.

Ms Ndibhongo said it breaks her heart to see young girls having babies while others had been absorbed into a life of crime and drugs just because they wanted to look cool and fit in.

She believes that everyone has the potential to become something great in life if they refuse to allow negative things to influence them. 

“We want young girls to be proud of who they are. I want these girls to never live life for others. This programmes seeks to change how girls look at life. We want these girls to be agents of change within their communities. We want these girls to be inspired and feel motivated to chase their dreams. Life is unpredictable but I urge them regardless of what they experience to never give up, “ she said.

Sisipho Makeleni, 17, said she was glad to be part of this programme and how she looks at life has now changed.

She said she was a shy girl growing up but over the years she has managed to develop a strong sense of confidence and self esteem. She said such programmes create a platform for them to freely express themselves about teen issues and how they feel.

Such platforms also allows them to learn from their peers, she said.

Representative of Isivivana library, Olwethu Mduma, said the programmes are designed to enable the girl child to have a platform to pour out their hearts.

She said there were many programmes that cater for youth but few programmes that cater for the girl child. She said that they wanted to shape their thinking and make them critical thinkers.