In a country where young girls face the threat of rape and murder and are often made to feel inferior, initiatives which empower and motivate them are all the more important.
One such initiative, the annual Girls Talk event, hosted by the Isivivana library and various other stakeholders, was held on Friday June 25.
The three-hour session strived to educate the girls about gender-based violence while also evaluating how much they understand about it.
Event organiser, Olwethu Mduma, said through their annual event they aimed to engage with young girls on critical issues so that they could learn and become better adults.
She said if they do not instil correct information in the girls mind’s when they are still young, it’s likely they will grow up unable to distinguish right from wrong.
She also believes that such platforms are vital as they enable the girls to freely express themselves about issues affecting them.
She said one would be surprised of how much these young girls know about these issues but at times they do not have the right platform to engage thoroughly about them.
And as much as they are empowering the girls with knowledge and igniting their cognitive thinking, they too learn something from these young girls, she added.
Through these sessions, they wanted to promote unity, love and respect among girls as well as building a strong sense of sisterhood.
“We must never stop finding ways of empowering and uplifting the girl child. We are teaching the girls that they should never compromise their health and life. We want the girl child to grow up as an independent and as someone who has strong morals and ethics.
“We need to raise girls that are going to stand firm on what they believe in and confident about themselves,” she said.
Ogiya Ntshali from Greenpoint said she had learnt a lot and encouraged other girls to attend programmes like this one, to stay in school and to be proud of who they were.
Tabita Busani, a radio presenter at Radio Zibonele fm, gave a powerful talk as she motivated the girls to dream beyond their ambitions. She urged them to never allow their flaws or their past define who they were.
She also reminded them that if anyone did anything that made them feel uncomfortable, they must report it to someone they trust.