The world has changed, the girl child is deserving of equal education. Gone are the days where the female duty is solely as caregiver or mother, these concepts do not fit into our current society anymore. This old-fashioned thinking affects a girls’ right to control over her own life and robs them of the power to control their own destinies and fulfil their dreams. These ideas are also central to the girl child growing up feeling less of a valued human being and thus living her life fulfilling and prioritizing others needs. Lest it be her choice.
There is a dire need to address these challenges and to support girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their right to choose. When girls and young women are recognised for their potential and given the freedom and support to choose, there is no limit to their achievements; creating tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, employees, political leaders and mothers.
The ‘Dear African Girl’ journal is a motivational diary aimed at empowering the previously disadvantaged girl to help bring positive change amongst young girls in school and to those who are starting out in their careers as young professionals. An initiative by the Footprints Foundation, a South African not-for-profit organization, the journal is donated to marginalized girls in our society and contains a series of personal letters from some of Africa’s most powerful and inspirational women such as Professor Lulama Makhubela, Claire Mawisa, Nozipho Langa, Shoki Mmola and Advocate Rashida Ntotela to name a few. These stories are written specifically for the African girl and each story talks through the writer’s life challenges as a girl child, perseverance, resilience and hard work, and how these are central to their achievements and success. “We hope that through this journal African girls will be encouraged to stay in school and those going through a rough patch and still figuring it out will get up and dust themselves up and try again”, states Mr Eric Mlambo, Footprints Foundations’ Chief Executive Officer. “By pledging to print a journal at R130 per copy we can help girls realise that no matter where they come from with the little that they have, they can make it in life regardless”, concludes Mlambo.
The journal was inspired by a lack of mentoring platforms for girls and the need for role modelling amongst girls in rural or previously disadvantaged communities. Footprints Foundation has a network of 120 schools based in the Free State, Mpumalanga, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Limpopo provinces.
The Foundation has managed to reach over 4500 girls since 2017 and this year the HWSETA pledged to help print and donate 200 ‘Dear African Girl’ journals to empower and equip these young girls with the necessary life skills needed to make them strong and independent South African women leaders of tomorrow. “It is the bold steps taken by African women in the iconic 1956 Women’s March to the Union Buildings in Pretoria that laid a robust foundation for women leaders today to see the value and importance of grooming women from a young age,” states Elaine Brass, HWSETA’s Chief Executive Officer. “This journal provides the girl child with hope that tomorrow will be different from today through hard work, perseverance, resilience and enduring faith that your dreams will come true no matter what obstacles are put in your way,” concludes Brass.
For the year 2020, the foundation aims to reach 10 000 girls. The HWSETA commends the foundation for the positive change to our local communities and country in working towards producing a generation of visionary and empowered African girl leaders.
For more information on the foundations’ work, visit www.footprintssa.org.
Last modified: January 9, 2020