“To girls and women everywhere, I issue a simple invitation. My sisters, my daughters, my friends; find your voice” – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia

Earlier this month the United Nation (UN) celebrated International Day of the Girl Child, a day that recognises girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. The need to address these challenges and promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights is at the core of celebrating this day.

With a bleak future according to the UN that by 2021 around 435 million women and girls will be living on less than $1.90 a day with at least 60% of countries still discriminating against daughters’ rights. This is one of the reasons that the UN declared 11th October the day of the girl child, to emphasise the role needed for all to play in ensuring young girls are afforded a future they can aspire to.

In response to this initiative, Brand South Africa partnered with the Imbumba Foundation, the Old Mutual Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Mpumalanga Department of Education, and LoveLife, to host a media activation tour through schools in Mpumalanga for young girls in grades 11and 12.

Brand South Africa’s flagship programme Play Your Part was the vehicle through which youth leadership development, career and social enterprise guidance as well as post-matric opportunities were highlighted with an emphasis on active citizenship.

Programme Director Mr. Tebogo Thekisho (ProVerb) made the powerful remark to the girls, saying– ‘“The tide is turning and young ladies, your time is now.”

Young girls were encouraged to take charge and take up every opportunity to empower themselves. “I am very very happy that we had the opportunity to ask questions, hear motivating stories from the speakers I am very happy. The poem I performed is inspired by the importance of having a young girl’s voice,” said a young pupil from Kamhola Secondary School.

Click here to watch her perform the poem

The schools in Mpumalanga were identified by the Provincial Department of Education.

Below are some images from the various participating schools.