Bringing out princesses

2016-11-01 13:41

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One hundred princesses graced Hanover Park with their presence on Saturday.

Girls from the area were treated like royalty while discussing issues close to their communities’ hearts at the “Princess – Know your Identity” workshop hosted by the 16-year-old NGO She-Chem Hanover Park.

She-Chem director Carol van Wyk says the idea came when they realised social ills in their community had to be addressed at a grassroots level.

“With the workshop we want to restore dignity to the girls of Hanover Park and make them understand that they are worth so much more. The community already has a stigma attached to it and because we do not want our youth to be limited and restricted to these stigmas we came to the workshop idea,” she says.

Van Wyk says they are giving the girls high priority as they are easy targets for social ills.

“At the workshop we address issues such as rape, drugs and gangsterism and get them to not buy into the negative stigmas created for the community they come from. We want to restore dignity and pride in our girls and assure them that they matter and value themselves,” she says.

Van Wyk says they are highlighting pressing social issues that affect Hanover Park especially. Mentors in the programme “adopt” 10 girls for a year and help them with life choices and give guidance.

“We have a motto at the organisation that reads: You win or lose by the way you choose. Decide to decide right,” she says.

She adds the organisation envisions a drill squad to sprout from the workshop. A similar workshop will be held with boys from the same community.

“The workshops will eventually evolve into stay-awakes and camps for the girls where they can connect with other girls from their community. Just to make them understand they are not alone,” Van Wyk says.

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