Khaltsha girls motivated to dream big

Some of the girls from different schools in Khayelitsha who attended the programme.

The Isivavana Centre is teaching township girls aged 11 to 16, about the importance of self-love and respect.

The centre hosted a “girls talk” event at Bertha Movie House on their premises to create a platform for girls to openly engage issues they face.

Coach Tshandu, African Import Foundation, American Corner and Ituba Access Matters and fud peeps PTY were among the stakeholders at the event.

The event, held once a quarter, aims to empower young girls with critical information to help them make wise life choices.

Librarian at the Isivivana Centre, Olwethu Mduma, said girls needed such platforms so that they could tackle head-on many challenges that they grapple with and develop ways of addressing them.

Ms Mduma said girls were vulnerable in what she described as a cruel society, making it critical for them to equip girls with life skills and knowledge to, among others, prevent getting pregnant while still young.

Ms Mduma said it was important that when they talked to the girls they didn’t sugar-coat things but spoke openly and honestly to them.

She added that as a young person herself she wanted to share her life experience with them so that they could learn from it.

Ms Mduma said each and every one has a duty to give back to the community and shape it into becoming a society where young girls are able to express their emotions and views freely. She added that it was also important that parents talk to their daughters about the challenges they are facing.

“Girls are most vulnerable people in the society and it is crucial that we get them together to build each other up.

“We as young people need to uplift one another and this project only caters for girls.

“Every week we would have a female guest speaker who has made it in life or who is still studying to share her experience with the girls and advise them,” she said.

Representative of Ikasi School organisation, Dumisani Ntsodo, said through the event, they wanted to change the perception of the role of women in society and the narrative that girls were only meant to do chores.

But most importantly, he said, the event aimed to urge the girls not to find themselves doing wrong things because of a peer pressure.

Sisipho Makeleni, 17, said she was glad to have been part of the programme and that the way she looked at life had changed.

She said she wanted to be an agent of change in her community.