Unemployment and poverty in South Africa continue to have racial and gender characteristics, which are felt acutely in crowded townships. Joblessness is highest among black women and youth in urban slums and rural areas, and is exacerbated by the poor quality of education found in free government schools in townships. Girls who perform poorly at school are more likely to drop out of school, experience early pregnancy and are less likely to return to school following pregnancy.
FOTAD was founded in 2007 in response to the lack of black women in professional work environments, especially those requiring quantitative skills, and the lack of safe spaces for adolescent girls to prepare for successful futures. Through a mixture of workshops, tutoring and mentoring in math and sciences, and exposure to related career opportunities, FOTAD equips adolescent girls from two of the lowest income urban areas in South Africa with life skills and academic support to reach university and become independent, healthy, career-oriented women.
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