Our journey into the rural heartland of Limpopo, South Africa continues to resonate in our organization. During the past few months we have continued to make new connections with girls across South Africa, sharing our stories, the issues faced and ways to overcome them.
Together with EV1 we have launched a GirlZtalk feature on the social media network Mxit. Through their beSmart platform, GirlZTalk is an information and exchange platform for teenage girls around the world. Each week we are able to connect with girls across South Africa via mobile phone, discussing issues that matter and enabling them to take part in the conversation.
Our aim is simple. We want every girl and young woman in South Africa to have a safe space where they can break the silence.
Girls in South Africa should be free to be themselves without fear of judgement. Our work reveals that the statistics yield a very honest and stark reality. The untold story, the silence and scorn passed on from one generation to the next has produced fertile ground for violation and ignorance to continue to flourish. It is not women alone who can change the status quo. Men need to be a part of the discussion, to share their reality and the silences that have bound them to the cycle of violence from generation to generation. We invite male youth to also participate in discussions.
As Madiba (Nelson Mandela) once said, ¨For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” We need to continue to share our stories. It is our stories that bind and shape our humanity, providing the opportunity for understanding, reconciliation and forgiveness to take place.
For there to be change we need to listen.
Amidst despair there is the pure and unified voice of resilience, courage and hope. The young women of South Africa today are the granddaughters, and daughters of those women and men who fought for their freedom. It is with the same dignity, grace and determination the girls of today will continue to rise, to pursue their dreams of a brighter future.
And the future looks bright, for the greatest resource South Africa holds, is her people.
Want to connect with other girls across South Africa?
Check out www.girlztalk.co.za also on Facebook and Twitter
Watch the sneak preview of GirlZTalk