Kristina Miller is on a mission to upskill young South African girls from some of the most gang-ridden regions through her initiative, Great Girls.
The NPO helps bridge the gap between high school education and full-time employment by assisting grade 11 and 12 girls with setting up CVs, mastering interview skills, learning to budget, and being assertive and self-assured.
Considering that the youth unemployment rate currently stands at 55.2% for 15 to 24-year olds, giving young people the tools and opportunity to envision a different future is imperative.
'Schools simply don't equip students for job interviews'
"There are so many people out there looking for work. They have many more opportunities than a girl from a disadvantaged area, "explains Kristina, who set up Great Girls after a brief encounter with her domestic worker's daughter.
"One day, my domestic could not come into work, so she sent her daughter instead. I got to talking to her and found she had no direction for her future. I later helped her with a CV and to find a job. I then thought that there must be so many youths in the same predicament."
The programme operates from venues in Lavender Hill and Belhar in the Western Cape, and includes rigorous interview prep, where girls hop between volunteers who ask them questions in a staged interview process.
"Many schools simply don't equip students for job interviews and that often, disadvantaged students don't have access to the technological tools needed to create a CV."
Girls are also asked to deliver five-minute speeches about themselves to develop public speaking skills.
To date, 120 girls have been given support through its efforts.
According to the founder, Great Girls has managed to produce two teachers, an IT support engineer, a web content administrator, and an intern at the Department of Transport.
"Every girl is capable of being great, but not every girl is given the opportunity to be as great as she truly can be – that's where Great Girls comes in."
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