Achievement report – August
Healthy Girls Empowerment – just what the doctor ordered!
Coordinate 24 Girls Empowerment workshops within the Third Quarter
SDG: No poverty, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Reduce Inequalities, Partnerships for the goals
‘If we succeed in empowering girls, we’ll succeed in everything else’. Desmond Tutu’s thought-provoking words ring true at GVI Cape Town this month. The Women’s Empowerment and Healthcare projects were briefly merged allowing volunteers from two different projects, the opportunity to work together towards a common goal – empowering girls through health education. The workshops with the Grade 5 girls taught the importance of how being healthy improves your quality of life, confidence, and happiness.
From combining emotional reactions and confidence with mental health and healthy eating, our GVI volunteers were successful in creating a series of fun and informative workshops that emphasised the importance of physical well-being and its links to quality of life, self-assurance and general happiness. It was inspiring to see two unique projects and two distinctively talented sets of volunteers come together to achieve a common objective in empowering and educating girls.
Throughout the month, 16 empowerment workshops took place, 9 of which had a noteworthy link to healthcare. These workshops drew inspiration from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as they actively encouraged good health and well-being as well as promoted the empowerment of females to reduce inequalities.
The girls that attend the workshops are often uninformed on the importance of physical well-being and the science of health as a result of their impoverished conditions, especially in regard to mental health. However, due to the brilliant work of our volunteers, the girls left each workshop, not only with a greater understanding of how to better improve their own and others’ well-being, but with a smile. Whether it was by playing a game of emotional charades or from creating an artistic song about what to do if you cut your arm, the volunteers created a fun but educational working environment and that had an undeniably positive impact.
One of the most interesting and popular workshops of this month was one that encompassed education concerning mental health. Alicia Hawes, a volunteer whom supported that session is passionate about mental health education and had the following to say:
‘Mental health awareness is key in every child’s education. It’s sometimes thought to be a taboo subject and therefore is unspoken. However, just because you cannot see it, does not mean it does not exist. For this reason we felt it was quintessential to focus a Girl’s empowerment session on Mental Health. Being aware of Mental Health and its effects on a person is an amazing trait to have and will develop your emotional intelligence, through all stages of life. It was an absolute credit watching the girls react so positively to the emotional activities, such as scenario given role play and emotional charades, and assured me they will all grow to be compassionate, kind and strong women in their own right’
These workshops and the demanding work that our wonderful volunteers put in will make the difference in giving the girls the knowledge and confidence to improve their own health and welfare. Going forwards, it may also improve the knowledge and conditions of others in the community who can be inspired by these engaging girls and the change that these and continuing empowerment workshops will facilitate.
A special thank you to those incredible volunteers. Their effort, commitment and determination has been exemplary and has made a encouraging difference that will be long-lasting. They certainly are the difference.
Written by: Jack Allison – Volunteer Coordinator