Girls find the power of their voices

2019-03-20 06:00
United Through Sport celebrated its pilot girls’ empowerment programme with a graduation ceremony on March 6.                                   Photo:SUPPLIED

United Through Sport celebrated its pilot girls’ empowerment programme with a graduation ceremony on March 6. Photo:SUPPLIED

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UNITED Through Sport celebrated its pilot girls’ empowerment programme with a graduation ceremony at Astra Primary School in Bethelsdorp on March 6.

GirlsUnite has been running at the school since last year, where girls aged between 10 and 14 from the local community – including girls attending neighbouring schools – were equipped with skills and knowledge to safeguard and empower them to cope with challenges in their socio-economic environment more effectively.

United Through Sport’s general manager, Spakes Xapile, said the programme had achieved rewarding results, with the desired impact on the lives of the girls who graduated.

“We find this to be a critical intervention age, where girls reach puberty and are exposed to many challenges.

“They do not always feel comfortable discussing sensitive topics with the boys present in class. The programme had excellent results with regard to building the girls’ self-actualisation and self-esteem,” said Xapile.

The programme included activities such as sexual health workshops facilitated by graduate counsellors from NMU’s Missionvale Psychology Centre, and self-defence sessions on physical safety, as well as a talk on being safe online by a social media expert. Several guest speakers were invited to address the girls on various topics to empower them.

According to GirlsUnite coordinator, Cindy Preller, the theme of all the sessions and outings revolved around the power of the girls’ voices.

“The girls became more confident. They know their rights, they know where to turn to for help, and importantly, they are able to share this knowledge with other girls in their families and their communities.

“It has been amazing to see the transformation in the girls as they find the power of their voices,” said Preller.

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