After 10 years of community development work in Africa, we have seen hundreds of girls who miss out on basic education and are abused or forced into marriages and early pregnancy simply because they are girls. The Girl Impact initiative aims to provide opportunities for adolescent girls and to create support networks within their communities, so they can make informed choices as they grow up.
Adolescence is a critical period when a girl’s future potential and opportunities can flourish through education, learning skills and social support. Alternatively, that potential can be stunted and stifled by the irreversible effects of child marriage, early pregnancy, HIV and other preventable hardships. Fulfilling the rights of adolescent girls to health, education, and protection from violence and abuse, ensures they have the chace to achieve their potntial and can become empowered women who can support their families, communities, and countries. Some simple statistics to demonstrate the depth of the problem include:
[*] Out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70% are girls
[*] Half of all first births in the developing world are to adolescent girls
[*] 75% of all HIV infected people in Sub Saharan Africa, aged 15-24, are young women
[*] Worldwide, 50% of sexual assaults are against girls aged 15 years and younger
By supporting this initiative you will help to make a positive impact on the girls, their future family and their whole community. Some examples of how The Girl Impact program can make a difference are:
[*] When women and girls over 16 earn income, they reinvest 90% of it in their families, as compared to men, who invest only 30 to 40%
[*] Each year of primary school boosts a girl’s eventual wages by 10% to 20%. An extra year of secondary school adds 15% to 25%
[*] Educated young women get pregnant later and are better placed to ensure the health and education of their children
[*] Each extra year of a mother’s schooling cuts infant mortality by between 5% and 10%
The Girl Impact in Cape Town…
In post-Apartheid South Africa, girls are in real need of support. Issues including access to education, restricted access to healthcare, high abuse rates and a patriarchal system where men hold primary authority, all mean that girls are often left behind. Some statistics to help demonstrate the issues in South Africa;
[*] Just over HALF of girls in South Africa will leave education before completing Grade 12
[*] of girls aged 15 – 24 years have given birth, 28% of those have never married or lived with the father of the child
[*] Only 1/3 of clinics in South Africa provided contraception options to people seeking contraception aged 13 -19 years
[*] 45% of girls aged 14 – 24 years describe their first sexual experience as coerced by their male partner
We aim to tackle these issues and improve the situation and prospects of girls in Cape Town through the following methods:
Girls’ and Boys’ Club
We partnerwith an organisation that provides supported and supervised community-based foster care for orphaned, abused, neglected and vulnerable children through a network of small family homes.Volunteers help to support a girls’ and boys’ club twice a week. These clubs take place in a community centre in Khayelitsha where children between the ages of 6 and 14 get the opportunity to share ideas, interests and concerns in a safe and fun environment.
The session topics are led by the children and are discussed weekly, aiming to empower the children to make healthy, informed decisions. Volunteers help to steer the sessions by providing information on the chosen topics and delivering this in an interactive and engaging way.Building relationships with the children and helping to create a space that encourages trust is vital.
During Girls’ Club, topics are based on the pillars of health, safety, early pregnancy, self-confidence and income generation.We address the same matters in Boys’ Club, but with an added focus onunderstanding, respecting and empowering the girls and women in their life.
Youth Support Group
Working with a mixed group of 10 – 19 year old adolescents, we facilitate a youth support program once a week with a traditional dance group. This takes place in the home of the founder in an informal settlement in Khayelitsha. The founder is a passionate woman who identified the need to create a positive space for the youth in her community and the group currently meet each day after school to practise their routines. The group comes from disadvantaged backgrounds where their parents may not work and the household relies on grants to make ends meet. They have therefore turned their talent for dance into a source of income for them and their families.
Some of the key issues the youth face each day centre on access to education, early pregnancy and a lack of confidence in themselves. Our volunteers aim to combat some of these issues by providing a support group once a week where the youth are able to share their problems. This can be as simple as helping with their homework or having a discussion on what makes a healthy relationship between men and women.
This is a unique environment where you will get to experience what life is like in Khayelitsha and work with a group of young people who are in real need of positive role models in their lives.
English Lessons for Women
The English lessons take place in an emergency foster care home which was established to care for abandoned and orphaned children aged between 0 and 8 years in Khayelitsha and the surrounding areas. The main aim of the home is to place the children into foster care as soon as they are ready. On average 60% of the children taken into the home are HIV+ and often arrive quite sick, therefore the first stage of the home’s process is to nurse the children back to health. Once the children are medically and emotionally stable, the home will look to recruit a foster family so the children can be reintroduced to a family environment.
Recognising the importance of the team of ladies that dedicate their lives to supporting the children in their care and listening to their needs, we have introduced English language lessons to help empower them in their careers and future aspirations. Your role at the home is to support the ‘Mamas’ by providing English lessons once a week. Not only does this help them when introducing the children to the English language (which is needed for their schooling), it also helps them in their workplace by enabling them to communicate more effectively with social workers, visitors to the home, volunteers and the wider community.
The lessons take place each week and courses last for a total of 6 weeks. At the end of the course the Mamas take an assessment to demonstrate how much they have learnt. They will then move on to the next course. You will also spend some time with the Mamas supporting them in their day to day roles at the home. This gives volunteers a greater understanding of the challenges they face each day and will help to shape the language lessons. Some of these roles may include helping to prepare food or supporting children with their homework when they come home from school. Building community support for the program is vital in ensuring its sustainability and impact. This program allows you to provide valuable assistance to girls and women living with these hardships every day and to educate boys, men and their communities on the issues and opportunities faced by adolescent girls.
Volunteers come to us with such a vast array of expertise, interests, and passions. We want to give you the ability to design your own project and volunteer experience! The options include: teaching assistance, working with orphans and vulnerable children, sports development, and the vital Girl Impact. The nature of the project means that you will split your time between The Girl Impact and one of the other volunteer focuses, meaning you can work in some of the following areas:
Orphaned and Vulnerable Children
The focus of the Cape Town Orphaned and Vulnerable Project is to educate, support, and empower disadvantaged, orphaned, and vulnerable children through a sustainable approach to community development. As a volunteer, you are an essential part of our team, assisting our efforts in providing children and youth with a better education and a brighter future. Throughout this experience you will have rewarding opportunities to help prepare and implement weekly learning activities.
Our volunteers are essential - assisting our efforts in providing children and youth with a better education and a brighter future. Throughout this experience you will have rewarding opportunities to help prepare, and implement and evaluate weekly learning activities.
Sport and exercise is an integral part of child/youth development and helps to increase concentration and develop crucial skills such as leadership, team work, and communication. As a volunteer you will assist in one of thetownship schools, primarily in Khayelitsha and Langa. You will work alongside a coach for 45 minute Physical Education sessions as well as assist with lesson planning, designing and implementing drills and fitness tests, creating assessments to ensure each child is progressing and sharing knowledge and skills with the students and coaches.
Abuse against children is most common in the immediate after-school hours when caregivers are not yet back from work. With this in mind, we have partnered with organisations that facilitate after school care programs. As a sports volunteer you will help to plan and implement physical games such as football or netball and will also plan fun and active games (think obstacle courses and drills) for the children to enjoy. For some children this may be the only time of day where they engage in such activities, therefore providing much needed development in this area.
- All airport collection and returns
- 3 meals a day
- 24 hour support on every project and at the volunteer accommodation by onsite staff
- Tea, coffee and filtered water
- Medical and travel insurance
- Weekend trips and other non-project activities
- Alcohol. Please note this is not allowed during day time activities
Making a booking
If you want to reserve your place on a trip we ask you to place a deposit of £0 to secure your place. Should you wish to discuss your trip with us, please either email email@example.com or call 0203 394 0050.
|Monday 10th Apr 2017 - Monday 24th Apr 2017||£787.00|
|Monday 8th May 2017 - Monday 22nd May 2017||£787.00|
|Sunday 13th Aug 2017 - Wednesday 23rd Aug 2017||£787.00|
|Sunday 27th Aug 2017 - Wednesday 6th Sep 2017||£787.00|
|Sunday 10th Sep 2017 - Wednesday 20th Sep 2017||£787.00|
|Monday 25th Sep 2017 - Wednesday 4th Oct 2017||£787.00|
|Monday 9th Oct 2017 - Wednesday 18th Oct 2017||£787.00|
|Monday 23rd Oct 2017 - Wednesday 1st Nov 2017||£787.00|
|Monday 6th Nov 2017 - Wednesday 15th Nov 2017||£787.00|
|Monday 20th Nov 2017 - Wednesday 29th Nov 2017||£787.00|
|Monday 13th Aug 2018 - Monday 27th Aug 2018||£845.00|
|Monday 5th Nov 2018 - Monday 19th Nov 2018||£845.00|