Changing a generation for generations to come

“When we started on this journey, one was driven by passion and the love of an African girl child. We believed that this programme will contribute immensely to reversing gender imbalances. An economically disempowered women will endure years of abuse if they do not see that there is an alternative. We wanted women to become masters of their own destiny. It is so gratifying to see the metamorphosis of some of the young women who are Hugs. It is fulfilling to see those who believe in the programme throwing themselves at every chance they get to empower themselves. These are the patrons of the programme who are confirming to us every day that one day we shall achieve our objectives”.

When we were recruiting for this programme and were asking the candidates to provide their documents, one of them refused with her documents. She argued that we can’t say we are going to help if there is nothing for us to gain. When we told her that this is funded programme by a recognised institution and that we had been in existence for a few years as an organisation, she said no ways. She never showed up for the next call.

This incident demonstrated to me that there are young women out there who have been brainwashed to believe that for you to get any help you must give up some of your morals. Of course you have to give your time, you effort and a lot more to show that you are serious about changing the course of your history.

This programme has demonstrated that if a person is willing to invest their time to develop themselves they can reach their dreams. The story of Vuyo who uses her stipend to build a crèche. The story of Nothando who has tried more than three businesses since she started the programme and is now registered at universities towards her law degree. The story of Nomfundo, the young girl without a matric who used to sit at the corner and observe but made that they participate in every activity of Sasopsbiz since the start of the programme and is now employed and continues to be a peer educator with innovative programmes. The story of Nobuhle who came out of her shell to be nominated by her Ward councillor for her work with women. These stories and many more make us very proud of what this programme is achieving. The multiplier effect through the Peer educator programme is yielding amazing results.

We are glad that we are making this change in people’s lives. However we amazed by the personal and professional growth that I have experienced through this programme. When I look at Sasopsbiz Foundation and systems that we have put in place through the support from this programme, I become very thankful that we have built this machine of development that can be compared with established companies that have been in existence for a number of years, Gender Links has indeed fast-tracked our growth.