Organisation aims to empower girls

Ukhozi Girls Organisation held a confidence-boosting holiday club as part of its mission to help young girls better themselves and their surroundings.

Ukhozi founder Nqobizitha Hobane said the holiday club, held at Marconi Beam Primary from Monday July 3 to Wednesday July 19, helped the girls with their reading and taught them sewing and team building among other skills.

There were drama classes and the girls performed from their own scripts.

They also learnt about some of the physical challenges of adolescence.

“It’s important for girls to respect and also understand the type of changes that happen to their bodies,” said Ms Hobane.

The organisation held a seminar for girls of high school age and older in June (“Helping girls to fly on eagles’ wings,” Tabletalk, June 21); while the holiday club focused more on primary school girls with a little help from the older girls who shared some of their experiences.

The girls received certificates of attendance at the end of the programme.

Ms Hobane’s passion for ubuntu is self evident. “The reason why I do this is because I love it. I want to make a difference in someone’s life. I want to touch someone’s life, making someone smile and I want to take them out of the streets and take them to a place where they feel loved and safe.”

To build their confidence, the girls went “shopping” at a makeshift clothing store set up in one of the classrooms and stocked up with donated clothes.

Claire Christie and Lindy Dlamini, both from NGO Women for Afrika, helped out during the holiday club.

“We are trying to teach these young girls that self respect starts now, while they are young,” said Ms Dlamini.

“We want them to know that they can say the word ‘no’ when they are being treated with indecency. This is about loving yourself enough to know when something’s not right for you.”

Ms Hobane plans to hold an awards evening for her girls later in the year.