Young girls empowered
Dream Girls Foundation addresses problems that girls face and instils skills in them
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.
EMPOWERED: The Dream Girls foundation was founded by Lebo Selloane Tshabalala to help young girls in Kutloanong near Odendaalsrus.