GirlUp OWLAG

GirlUp OWLAG

GirlUp is an innovative initiative of the United Nations Foundation which provides an opportunity for girls to become global leadersGirl Up envisions a world where all girls, no matter where they live, have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders.

GirlUp OWLAG empowers adolescent girls in South Africa to rise up. Through education, fundraising, advocacy and service, GirlUp Club members develop the leadership skills necessary to make a positive difference in the lives of girls everywhere. Girlup OWLAG is one of the first registered clubs in South Africa – a feat which befits both our vision and our mission. All members of Girlup OWLAG are encouraged to found Girlup Clubs in their own communities and to continue to work within the ethos of the club.

On the 14th of February 2018, GirlUp OWLAG hosted its very first Sanitary Drive for the year. Students and Staff were challenged to donate sanitary towels in return for a rose. This was in response to a claim that girls from lower-income households are forced to miss school because of the high price of sanitary towels and the embarrassment and humiliation that accompany menstrual mishap. The statistics claim that the numbers could be as high as over a million school days missed every year as a result. The GirlUp sanitary towel drive was very successful and the members donated the sanitary towels to girls in need. GirlUp aims to continue the sanitary towel drive throughout the year and hopes to make a difference in the lives of more girls in rural schools.

Emily Canga is a member who believes that girls are powerful and that they have limitless potential.  According to Emily much of South Africa, including Qwaqwa, her Free State home town, denies the girl child access to the opportunities given to their boy counterparts. It is ingrained within them that their role is to go to school; proceed to initiation school; get married and bear children. However, after being accepted at OWLAG her greatest highlight was the opportunity to join GirlUp, which changed her perspective on what it means to be a Young Black African Girl.  She believes that she is powerful beyond measure and, thus, she established GirlUp clubs in Qwaqwa, to empower the girl child; inspire her to do great things; give hope to the hopeless and to speak for the voiceless. The activities that take place in the clubs aim to change the stereotypes of what being a girl child means. They not only address the topical issues in discussion but take action by joining campaigns that fight against any injustices/ barriers faced by girls.

Eve Mashamba, who is part of Girlup OWLAG believes that the club has given her a different view on this issue of gender equality in the world. Therefore, she founded the BeYou Campaign. This is an initiative that aims to create awareness about gender equality and discuss the different issues facing teenagers through workshops and discussions. BeYou focuses on creating awareness for both girls and boys because ‘we cannot move forward if our brothers are held back’. She has dedicated her free time to creating a number of booklets which focus on different months of the year. Because the BeYou Campaign has now grown to 10 clubs in 4 provinces around the country, Emily has recruited other students to help distribute her booklets and run the clubs. The BeYou Campaign works both through the platform of social media accounts and through the distribution of posters, booklets, pamphlets, cards and a video in order to create awareness about the Campaign and its aims. BeYou also accepts donations which are put towards buying toiletries and stationery for students at various schools

Girl Up: https://girlup.org/about/

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