Through my eyes

“Ask me what the issues in my community are, I might hesitate for a minute to compose my thoughts but trust me they are all too familiar.”

The story below is written by Samkhelisiwe who is 15 years old from Ikombe Ndlela High School. She joined Bohikzn Npc support program during lockdown. It has been a journey for Samkhe to open up and tell us her experience as a young girl as told below.

As a young girl it breaks my heart to see other young girls grappling with drugs due to the circumstances, they find themselves in-whether poverty or simply disillusionment. Others are dating sugar daddies referred in colloquial terms as “blessers.”

Through my eyes, the desperation of not having basics like food, hygiene products and even the family set up, where most are raised in single parent households with little to no income all contribute to this.

As an impressionable girl who loves nice things and the frills that come up with it, I know all too well the temptations that my fellow youth are faced with. The reality is that every action has a reaction and consequence. These consequences could be teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS amongst many others.

So when Lockdown due to Covid-19 started, I started feeling loneliness because schools were closed and I could not go and visit my friends or meet with them. I was anxious because of the fear of unknown future. I was starting to have depression and then during that time two representatives of BOHIKZN called Nkosinathi Mathenjwa and Prudence Makhosi visited our home; seeking permission for me to join Virtual girls’ conversation with other girls under the leadership of Mam Prudence Makhosi. My mum immediately agreed because she could see that mentally I was not doing well because sometimes I would withdraw to myself and just be quiet which was abnormal for my character.

I joined Beacon of Hope KZN (BOHIKZN) in May 2020 and I have been actively participating in the BOHIKZN girls’ virtual conversations via WhatApp. I have had the privilege of attending training meetings which were held weekly during the serious lockdown days (level 5 and level 4) and now once a month. I have learnt a lot on my Human rights, on Gender, how to take care of my body, on how let my voice be heard on the choices I make in life especially choices on sexual matters. I feel empowered and thankful. I got airtime to help other girls, got sanitary pads and soap beside our mentoring meeting which are usually full of love.

I am confident though, that I can make a change in my community and I can be an example to my fellow girls and young women. I hope that through my eyes I can mirror hope and resilience!