Girls encouraged to focus on education

Klipfontein MSAT executive member, Thozama Macozoma, speaking to girls about the issues that affect them and sharing advice with them.

To honour the spirit of Women’s Month and to help uplift girls, the Klipfontein Multi-Sectoral Action Team (MSAT) led an event which included informative talks for Fezeka High’s female pupils on Friday August 12.

In addition to receiving donations of toiletries and other goodies, the more than 100 girls were given talks on sexual health, HIV/Aids as well as career advice.

At the event, held at Khwezi Hall in Gugulethu, the girls were encouraged to continue their education so as to improve their lives and so that they could grow up to be independent women.

Klipfontein MSAT executive member, Thozama Macozoma, said it was important for women not to lose their dignity by “sleeping their way to the top” and that girls needed to consider their mental, emotional and physical well-being at all times.

She added that they should not depend on boys for anything. “They need to work hard to change their lives.

“The only thing that will help them is to go to school and learn,” she said.

She advised them to draw inspiration from other women who have done well. Ms Macozoma said doors were open for them to learn.

Nonkululeko Fine-August from the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) said she was delighted to see the hall packed with young girls and commended the school for allowing young people to be educationally empowered.

She said teenage pregnancy and infectious diseases were still challenges in the townships, attributing this to the environment that young people find themselves in.

“In most places, the environment is not conducive for them. They still get peer pressure and make wrong decisions.

“We are saying to them they should not be mothers before their time.

“This is to urge them to pursue their goals. These girls can emulate the ‘class of 1956’, if they focus on the issues on the table and take good care of themselves,” she said, in reference to the 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, on August 9 1956 to protest the Apartheid era Pass Laws.

Sister Thabitha Pezisa from NY1 clinic urged the girls to surround themselves with people who have dreams in life. She said in whatever they do in life, they should equip themselves to make informed decisions.

She also stressed the need to always regularly visit the clinic to check on their health status.

“We are aware they are shy or scared to go because they see that as an embarrassment, but the truth is, these health facilities are there for all of us, them included.

“If there are people that they feel are not treating them well at these facilities, they have a right to report them. Young girls should know that HIV is real. They should respect their bodies (and) also use condoms,” she said.