International Day of the Girl Child: MEC hosts 24 disadvantaged Cape girls
In commemoration of the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child, the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) today hosted 24 girls aged between 14 and 18 from disadvantaged communities all over Cape Town.
The girls joined a motivational talk session and lunch in conjunction with our partners, Sun International, at the Grandwest in Goodwood.
The provincial Minister of Social Development, Adv. Albert Fritz, has placed great emphasis on boosting initiatives and services to girls and women.
Last year MEC Fritz began a sanitary pad campaign in conjunction with the Caring4Girls initiative. Over 1000 sanitary towels were donated to students at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and to schools in Delft.
However, to find more sustainable solutions, the Ministry is in the early stages of planning a multi-stakeholder symposium featuring all government, private sector and NGO partners. The symposium would look into broader issues of sexual and reproductive health for girls, including the possibility of formulating a Provincial Strategy on the roll-out of free sanitary pads to the poor in the Western Cape.
The MEC has also launched the Social Makeover Project, a partnership with Old Mutual, and the Imbalie Group.
The project targeted 20 young women from Mitchell's Plain who are not in employment, education or training (neets), seeking to transform their lives and futures. These 20 women have completed an intensive 10 week personal development and empowerment programme and a highly acclaimed course in nail therapy run by Imbalie Training Academy. The SMP has placed the women in permanent employment.
Girls and young women from all over the province have access to our growing network of six Youth Cafes. Youth Cafés provide a safe space with high-speed internet, computers and meals for youth to start their own businesses, seek job opportunities and training.
In addition, the Department continues to play a role in advocacy and renders support to victims of violence, especially gender violence, investing over R304-million into support for girls and women under our Restorative Services Programme.
These are just some initiatives by DSD aimed at empowering the girl child. Our services are accessible from any of our 40 local offices across the province or by contacting the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250. We can protect and empower our girls if we work, ‘Better Together’.
Spokesperson for Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
Western Cape Government
7th floor, 14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel : (021) 483 9217
Cell : 076 083 6543
Email : Sihle.Ngobese@westerncape.gov.za