Sis­ters do­ing it for their com­mu­nity

Eyethu Baywatch - - NEWS • IZINDABA - Welling­ton Mak­wakwa

WORK­ING in a com­mu­nity se­ri­ously af­fected by teenage preg­nan­cies, al­co­holism, drug abuse and un­em­ploy­ment, the Mangezi Rise Club is ded­i­cated to make a dif­fer­ence, es­pe­cially for ru­ral young women, in Mangezi Re­serve in the KwaDlangezwa area.

The club has not only brought pos­i­tive change to the com­mu­nity since its es­tab­lish­ment in March last year, but has also served as a plat­form where young women be­tween the ages of 19 and 25 form a strong sis­ter­hood.

With most mem­bers out of school and un­em­ployed, the cen­tral fo­cus of the group is to pro­mote ed­u­ca­tion among peers while iden­ti­fy­ing ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties for each other.

‘We share in­for­ma­tion of ed­u­ca­tion, busi­ness skills as well as help each other with per­sonal growth.

‘Ed­u­ca­tion is not just im­por­tant, but the foun­da­tion for a bet­ter fu­ture. We don’t want a com­mu­nity where young women de­pend on older men to sur­vive,’ said team leader Ayanda Gumede (26).

The Mangezi Rise Club as­sists young women tackle var­i­ous is­sues.

‘We all have our de­mons, but be­long­ing to the group makes it eas­ier for us to con­front them.

Mak­ing a dif­fer­ence

The young women have al­ready made a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in their com­mu­nity by con­duct­ing var­i­ous ed­u­ca­tional ini­tia­tives.

Last year they spear­headed fit­ness and health cam­paigns, as well as a re­cy­cling pro­gramme through which they taught res­i­dents about the im­por­tance of the en­vi­ron­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the group, their most ful­fill­ing ini­tia­tive was their march against the abuse of women and chil­dren.

They are also proud of their on­go­ing bead­work project.

They teach each other the craft and sell their goods to the com­mu­nity.

They hope to grow the club by recruiting more women, as well as de­vel­op­ing their bead project into a lu­cra­tive busi­ness.

Show­cas­ing their bead­work are Yethu Cele (19), Mi­nenhle Nk­wanyana (21), Than­dazile Mathe­bula (21), Nom­fundo Mwandla (21), Nonhlanhla Nk­wanyana (22), Sihle Mkhwanazi and Neliswa Buthelezi (20)

Welling­ton Mak­wakwa

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