Young girls empowered

Dream Girls Foun­da­tion ad­dresses prob­lems that girls face and in­stils skills in them

The New Age (Gauteng) - - FREE STATE NEWS - HLONI MASHIGO hlonim@the­newage.co.za

THE Dream Girls Foun­da­tion founded to help young girls in Kut­loanong near Oden­daal­srus, is far from what the 2006 Dream Girls fea­ture film that starred singer and ac­tress Bey­oncé Knowles de­picted.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion gives young girls the chance to reach and go be­yond their cir­cum­stances.

The founder , Lebo Sel­loane Tsha­bal­ala, said the NPO was formed to ad­dress the prob­lems that face girls in the prov­ince and em­power women with skills to make them con­fi­dent and in­de­pen­dent.

She said the foun­da­tion was con­cep­tu­alised through the un­der­stand­ing that most South African women were still dis­ad­van­taged in their com­mu­ni­ties.

With so­cial ac­tivist Jo Mban­gata elected their new chair­per­son, Sel­loaneTsha­bal­ala, said the foun­da­tion was in good hands.

The foun­da­tion has var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties in the com­mu­ni­ties of Kut­loanong, Thabong in Welkom, Ram­mo­lutsi in Viljoen­skroon and Bloem­fontein.

Sel­loane-Tsha­bal­ala said they wanted to pro­duce women who were change agents in their com­mu­ni­ties from which they orig­i­nated.

“The best way to de­scribe the work that we do is that ev­ery day we are work­ing to achieve eco­nomic in­de­pen­dence of women and al­le­vi­ate poverty at a grass roots level in the Le­jweleputswa district through the sus­tain­able es­tab­lish­ment and growth of small women-owned busi­nesses,” Sel­loane-Tsha­bal­ala said.

Through the var­i­ous de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes the women are able to par­tic­i­pate in ed­u­ca­tional and en­tre­pre­neur­ial ini­tia­tives with ca­reers and other op­por­tu­ni­ties also at hand.

Sel­loane-Tsha­bal­ala said a num­ber of pro­fes­sional women were in­volved in the foun­da­tion in­clud­ing the trea­surer who is an ac­coun­tant at Sizwe Nt­saluba Go­bodo (Bloem­fontein) ac­count­ing firm.

“We also help young women who have given up on ever hav­ing a mean­ing­ful life to strive to re­build their lives,” she said.

The foun­da­tion prides it­self in be­ing able to help the girl child fol­low her dreams cre­at­ing a bet­ter qual­ity of life for those that are en­gaged with the work they do. An­other im­por­tant as­pect of the or­gan­i­sa­tion is to visit var­i­ous schools to give mo­ti­va­tional talks in or­der to in­spire young girls.

The foun­da­tion has suc­cess­fully run a 12-month men­tor­ship pro­gramme see­ing a num­ber of young women get­ting ac­cepted into univer­sity around the coun­try in the scarce sec­tors of medicine and min­ing.

Dream girls man­aged to host a women’s em­pow­er­ment summit ev­ery year since 2013 and claims that the event was grow­ing.

Ret­she­dis­itswe Mot­satse, who is now pur­su­ing her med­i­cal stud­ies in Rus­sia, said ever since she be­came part of the Dream Girls Foun­da­tion, she had gained a lot of con­fi­dence.

“It doesn’t mat­ter whether you come from an ad­van­taged fam­ily or dis­ad­van­taged fam­ily, you are able to be con­fi­dent, you are able to be­lieve in your­self, you are able to be­lieve in your dreams,” she said.

“The foun­da­tion also man­aged to get dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers on board in as­sist­ing young women start their own small busi­nesses,” Mot­satse said.

“Our mes­sage to the young girls and women in the Free State is that they must know that it doesn’t mat­ter where they come from their dreams are valid,” Sel­loane-Tsha­bal­ala said.

She be­lieves that ev­ery­one on earth has a pur­pose and that if they can find it the world is at their feet mak­ing it pos­si­ble for girls and women to be­come any­thing that they want to be.

PICTURE: FACE­BOOK

EMPOWERED: The Dream Girls foun­da­tion was founded by Lebo Sel­loane Tsha­bal­ala to help young girls in Kut­loanong near Oden­daal­srus.

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