A new dawn for young womxn in marginalized communities

“Coming from a marginalized community of Khayelitsha and being a young black woman, I can say that I am now more optimistic about my future, because of The Great People of South Africa’s ‘Applications for Opportunities program’ that has provided me and my friends with an opportunity to easily apply at the College of Cape Town to further our studies.”

From the day that Anelisa encountered ‘The Great People of South Africa’ many of her dreams and hopes for the future seemed possible than she had initially thought. She has since participated in 80% of our other activities. As a beneficiary of our ‘Application for opportunities program for young women, to help the access life changing opportunities, as a way in which we believe we can empower young women and further eliminate financial dependency of women to perpetrators of gender-based violence. Anelisa has since committed herself to the values and vision of The Great People of South Africa. She is a new advocate of gender justice.

Anelisa, is 19-year-old young women who has recently completed her final year of schooling, she grows up in the volatile community of Khayelitsha, where she lives with her mother and two older sisters. Her father passed away while she was an infant. “My father died before I could meet him. My mother has since had to assume the role of both mom and dad, she works hard to ensure that we have food and that we can get education”.Said Anelisa.

Anelisa is our driver of change because she is a young black woman, growing up in a marginalized community that is characterized by violence, patriarchy and lack of access to basic human right services. She is a game changer that is resilient and always working hard to succeed in life, despite the odds she faces living in a poverty-stricken community. Anelisa has a potential to be a great woman in society, she is a future community leader and an inspiration to the future generation. Her story is worth telling as it will clearly show the impact of our project and the contributions of the WVLSA grant.

Anelisa first encountered ‘the Great People of SA on the 7th of October 2020, when one of our facilitators visited her school to inform matriculants from disadvantaged homes to come to our Saturday program, to have an opportunity to be assisted to apply for educational opportunities in various institutions. She came to the program with her school mates as they were excited of their prospects. This would be the day that has changed her life and given hope to her as a young woman from Khayelitsha.

‘The Great People of South Africa” has really given me hope. Most of our schools in the townships do not have the necessary equipment for us to access information, such as the use of the internet to apply for opportunities such as these. We are often encouraged to further our studies after matric, but no one really dedicates their time to helping us to understand how the process of applying for educational opportunities works, to assess our characters and advise us on which careers are available and mostly which careers as young women we should peruse and how they will benefit our personal lives and that of our community and society.

Most of us young woman, being from this poor community, we are unable to reach educational institutions because they are situated far away from our communities due to Apartheid spatial planning’s as a result of forceful removals of people of colour from the inner city, close to all amenities. It would cost me R50 per day to travel back and forth from an institution of learning and home. The Great People of South Africa can help us to conveniently connect to their internet, they helped us to create emails and helped us through the application forms and explained in detail what each section requires. They have helped us to access our proof of address from our ward councillors.” Meeting this organization has changed my life for the better. I am overly optimistic about my future”. She said.

Anelisa has a dream to study for a course in Travel and Tourism. She has been accepted by the College of Cape Town and. We have also assisted her to also submit her NSFAS student aid application, which will help pay for her studies. When the project is complete, she would be graduating from her course of two years. She will be a young woman who is in depended and ready to participate in economic activities through either a form of employment or starting her own travel agency.

From participating in our other activities, Anelisa has improved her communication skills with her peers, she has grown to be comfortable with engaging with different people from her community. She has even participated in community meetings with other youth.

“By meeting and talking with other group members I also had a chance to practice and interact more effectively with others. I realized am not alone and that I am within a safe supportive group, as I began to feel comfortable sharing my feelings and life values.” Said Anelisa.

Anelisa invited her other classmates and other young women to the workshops and has also encouraged them to further their studies by participating in our Application for Opportunities program. She has exhibited true leadership qualities. She has led other from the front.

“We have seen her coming and going to these programs, when our mother asked what this organization was about, she explained, and we have since realized how serious she takes her future. It is not always easy for young women in our community to dream beyond what is usually in front of our eyes however her commitment and her will to carry on and dream big has truly inspired us as her big sisters”. Said Anelisa’s older sister.

Because Anelisa has participated in most of our activities, she has grown to know more and understanding the work that the organization does. She shares our vision and is always helping the organization to be able to get a step closer to realizing our project objectives. We have since selected her to be one of the beneficiaries of our Paralegal training program designed to empower young women with basic legal skills. She showed interest in this program and has since been very inquisitive about when it will start. We see a great future for this young woman.

The future does indeed look promising for this young woman. It is beneficiaries like Anelisa that encourage us to keep going no matter the circumstance. She is not only an inspiration to her sister and friends. She inspires us too.