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San girls learn to take active ownership of their lives

San girls learn to take active ownership of their lives

The Women’s Leadership Centre hosted a public advocacy event under the theme title ‘SAN Girls, First girls, growing up strong’, last week in Windhoek.

The event also marked the end of a two-and-a-half-year project which will officillu close at the end of the month, titled the ‘San girls prevent child marriage and early pregnancy’, which was funded by the Finish Embassy in the country.

Elizabeth Khaxas praised the girls for completing this project together with the other members of the San Girl’s Groups in their village and said the girls had taken active ownership of their groups in which they created safe spaces to learn about their human rights, their history and culture.

“They learned about changes and challenges of puberty, about the prevention of child marriage, other forms of child abuse, early pregnancy and HIV, and gained skills such as building good relationships with their families and other trusted adults, as well as supportive friendships,” she added.

While Ayesha Wentworth, Deputy Director: Diagnostic, Advisory and Training Services in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture encouraged the girls to take pride in their cultural heritage and to complete their education. “Every girl should be in school and I admire you for your courage to choose to go to school even when you are hungry, or feel like staying home with your family,” she said.

She explained that parents, the community, the teachers and the Ministry have big responsibility to do everything in their power to support the girls to reach their goals. “We all have to strive to make our schools culturally relevant and inclusive, more tolerant, more caring,” she emphasised.

The event closed with the handing over of Certificates to the girls as well as the community facilitators, who vowed that they would keep the project alive in their communities despite the current lack of funding

20 San girls, five girls from each of the villages, Omega 1 in Kavango East Region, Tsintsabis in Otjikoto Region, Witvlei and Drimiopsis in Omaheke Region and shared some of the knowledge they had gained during this project.

The project received support from Lifeline/Childline Namibia and the Embassy of Finland and still receive support from them whenever they need help and advice with problems or just need someone to talk to.

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.