Em­pow­er­ing com­mu­ni­ties with in­for­ma­tion

Eyethu Baywatch - - NEWS • IZINDABA - Welling­ton Mak­wakwa

DE­SPITE their poor back­grounds, mem­bers of the Crazy Charma Girls are de­ter­mined to change their cir­cum­stances.

Re­sid­ing in the eCinci area in KwaM­thethwa Re­serve, the group say their com­mu­nity is trou­bled by poverty, ill­nesses such as HIV in­fec­tions and a lack of ed­u­ca­tional struc­tures and op­por­tu­ni­ties.

They say their poor back­grounds pre­vent them from study­ing fur­ther, but they are de­ter­mined to be the change agents in their com­mu­nity.

Since they started the group in Fe­bru­ary last year, they have cre­ated sev­eral pos­i­tive com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives.

With some guid­ance from their skills coaches, they have man­aged to not only en­cour­age and de­velop each other, but also sup­port the com­mu­nity on is­sues re­lated to health and ed­u­ca­tion.

Com­mu­nity health projects

Among oth­ers, they have tack­led chal­lenges such as teenage preg­nancy and a rise in sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­eases.

‘The com­mu­nity has many or­phans ow­ing to HIV and most of the peo­ple don’t have proper ed­u­ca­tion,’

Apart from health is­sues they fur­ther pro­mote self-re­spect, open com­mu­ni­ca­tion with peers and iden­tify ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties.

‘Since we started our ed­u­ca­tional drives, many young peo­ple now un­der­stand is­sues re­lated to HIV,’ said life skills coach Nonhlanhla Nkosi (20).

‘The school dropout fig­ures have de­creased as we help the youth re­turn to school, and we as­sist those who com­pleted their ma­tric to ap­ply at ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions.’

The group also has a veg­etable gar­den project and teaches the com­mu­nity about healthy eat­ing habits.

Ac­cord­ing to the Crazy Charma Girls, they hope to build a multi-pur­pose cen­tre for the youth.

Their aim is to pro­vide ac­cess to the in­ter­net and as­sist young peo­ple with CVs and ap­pli­ca­tion let­ters.

They say em­pow­er­ing their com­mu­nity with in­for­ma­tion is what drives them and they hope to pro­duce more ter­tiary grad­u­ates in the area.

These bright young women not only want to open em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties with their bead project, but want to cre­ate a plat­form for lo­cal artists, too

They also want to groom young poets, dancers and mu­si­cians.

Show­cas­ing their bead­work are group team lead­ers and life skills coaches - Sphindile Mthembu, Khombi Msane, Zanele Mthethwa, Khosi Buthelezi, Mbali Mgenge, Mbali Bhengu and Nonhlanhla Nkosi

Welling­ton Mak­wakwa

It’s all bout aim­ing for higher achieve­ments for mem­bers of the Crazy Charma Girls Club

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