Initially, I was brought to loveLife to be a groundBreaker as part of the Make Your Move team. I implemented the Make Your Move content, comparable to teaching a Life Orientation class, at Langa High School with other groundBreakers. However, due to scheduling conflicts, being a groundBreaker proved to not be as an effective of a role as I was capable of. I then focused my efforts on Ilizwi (meaning “voice), a Young Women’s Empowerment Programme that a former Marquette student had founded at loveLife. I currently work with a small group of girls teaching a range of issues regarding the topics of sexual health, motivation, careers and art. We are currently working on fundraising for a camp we are anticipating holding in early November.
E-mail Kelly for more information!
My role at loveLife is that of an mpintshi—meaning “friend” in Xhosa. During the school day, I implement loveLife programmes in grade nine and ten Life Orientation classes at Langa High School. The programmes focus on helping the youth see that they have the autonomy to make positive and productive decisions in their lives. At loveLife we aim to provide the students with a nonjudgmental environment in which they feel comfortable to discuss anything from sex to politics.
However, when poor service delivery, poverty, poor education, among other social development issues, face so many of the youth within Langa Township, one must recognize that many of the youth lack self-confidence—specifically young women. I began to clearly recognize the low self-esteem through implementation in schools, observations of girls within the loveLife clinic and within Langa, and many conversations with people in the community. This realization coupled with the idea of giving young people a place to have their voices be heard gave birth to the idea of a young women’s empowerment programme.
Currently I am developing ilizwi—Young Women’s Empowerment Programme with the help of my supervisor, an American volunteer, and two girls who grew up in Langa. Ilizwi means “voice” in the Xhosa language. Our goal is to create a sustainable programme that provides an environment where the girls can express themselves in a welcoming environment without fear judgment—where their voices can be heard. We run after-school workshops Monday through Thursday at the loveLife Y-Centre, which focus on motivation, careers, sexual health, and art. Through these workshops the girls learn to connect with and learn from one another. Each session brings surprises, usually taking form of debates about issues affecting young black South Africans growing up in townships or girls sharing poems or rap songs they have written.Through implementation in schools and beginning a women’s community development project, I have become incredibly attached to my site while learning more about myself as human being each day. loveLife is a site full of energy and an eagerness to genuinely care for the community of Langa.
E-mail Liz for more information!
In South Africa, there is an uncomfortable, awkward presence of sex in schools and homes. This makes it difficult to bring up sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies. LoveLife tries to break these barriers in order to empower the youth. LoveLife uses the youth center to have recreational sports, leadership programs, volunteer opportunities, open discussions about sex, and free testing clinics as easy access for the adolescents in the community. Youth volunteers called groundBREAKERS facilitate leadership programs for students throughout the schools, libraries, and clinics in South Africa.
Marquette students will help with the local high school's (Langa High) Make your Move club, which allows students to voice their opinions about making decisions in their lives. They will also help implement the motivation workshops, and be involved in Langa as a community. Not only that, but they will get the chance to meet some amazing kids, play games, and interact.
E-mail Stephanie for more information!