Four primary factors influence our work:
Violence: Every Rock Girl has witnessed gang shootings. Several have lost family members and friends to gang violence. Our meetings have been interrupted by shootings many times. Gender-based violence: South Africa has one of the highest incidences of sexual violence per capita. On Rock Girl’s last Road Trip, over 80% of girls had personally experienced gender-based violence. Trauma and lack of regular access to social workers is major concern. Education: Over 40% of South African girls drop out of school by the grade eight due to teen pregnancy, financial instability, lack of school or transportation fees, sexual violence and harassment, and family responsibilities. Patriarchy: When Rock Girl partnered with the Children’s Radio Foundation to produce a show on “Being a Girl”, the majority of the girls reported that grandfathers, fathers, uncles and even female family members hit them, shamed them, and ignored them when they began menstruating.
Rock Girl was inspired by a group of girls at Red River Primary School in Manenberg who wanted a safe space at school. Red River sits between two rival gangs and gangsters routinely interrupted classes and intimidated students. The girls documented where they were safe and unsafe through photographs and identified things to do to make their lives safer. First on the list was a safe place to sit. Working with artists, the girls created a beautiful bench they placed outside the principal’s office, launching a city-wide Safe Spaces Campaign. Rock Girl was invited to place a second bench in the centre of Cape Town. Since then, they have installed 55 Safe Space benches around Cape Town and Johannesburg. Each symbolic bench in an urban area has a sister bench in a school, clinic, court, library, or community that is providing actual safe spaces for girls. In the past five years, Rock Girl has expanded to provide after school, weekend, and holiday leadership programmes to over 400 girls.
As one of the recipients of the With and For Girls Awards hosted by EMpower and the Stars Foundation, Rock Girl SA intends to employ a Programme Director on a part-time basis to develop its curriculum; design and implement a mentors/internships programme for girls in last year of high school and administer the transport, counsellingand other needs of all girls in the programme. Rock Girls SA also plan to use a portion of the funds to cover transport costs for the girls to their mentorships and to our weekly meetings and to print materials/curriculum used by girls.
Primary Location: South Africa
Funded Since: 2017
Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.
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