Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Our first "Girl Talk"

In July, Unathi and I decided that we wanted to start to nurture the young girls in our community. There are many young girls and we felt that it would be good to provide a platform from which we could get to know the young girls in Hamburg and surrounding villages and to trickle the message to them that they are special.

Instead of telling them off, off instructing them not to fall in love, as the school system teaches, in order to avoid early pregnancies and HIV.  We thought a more effective route would be to encourage the young girls to start to see value in themselves. To realize that they are special and that they need to safe guard this specialness. That their lives have value and that they are each unique. We decided to have a Girl Talk day to open dialogue between the women and the young girls and to start to create a network of support fro the girls. The event was hosted at Vulendlela thanks to the generosity of Collette, and with the help of Andisiwe, Manjezi and Tiia. various individuals of the community of Hamburg contributed generously towards the day with money and food items, we really appreciated this assistance which made the day possible and affordable.

Around 50 girls attended, which was a lot of girls for the first of these days, advertised mostly by word of mouth. The day started with a welcome and then we all did some flower drawings to ease us into the day. When paints and papers were put away, Unathi had arranged guest speakers Ati bravely spoke first about her life story and choices she had made and that she might have made differently had she known the route her life would take. And then Sibongile Kumalo who spoke about choosing a career by doing a few fun group work exercises with the girls looking at personality types and ethical scenarios. We had a tasty lunch (curtesy of Unathi and family) where the young women served the girls and had planned to end the day with a movie but due to a technical difficulty had to cancel this.

All in all, it was a fun day and much enjoyed by everyone. We plan to do similar Girl Talks 4 times a year with the changing seasons, the second one being planned for October.

As the poster suggests 'Notyatyambo Masinonelelane' -"They are flowers let us hold them carefully'

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