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Child Welfare South Africa’s (CWSA) “Empowering the Girl Child” project aims to inspire and empower girl children living under disadvantaged circumstances to lead successful, independent and fulfilling lives. The CWSA project is designed to encourage positive role modelling and focuses on positive change at three levels namely:

Personal Change in girls participating in the project.
Group Change through formal and informal contacts between community.
Community Change as changes in individual girls as well as the collective caregivers and the girls within the project group impacts on the larger community’s social norms, beliefs and practices.
In achieving the above clear objectives have been developed and are as follows:

Strengthen and capacitate community based programmes so as to identify and intervene with girls living under difficult circumstances.
To enhance training materials focusing on gender issues including discrimination and violence.
To train community caregivers within existing programmes to provide ongoing mentoring, support and assistance to vulnerable girls.
Implement group work support programmes for vulnerable girls.
To raise awareness within families, schools and communities with regards to gender inequality.

Training is the foundation to the success of the project as facilitators hold the responsibility of making sessions interesting, relevant and engaging for the girls in the group. If they are unable to do this, attendance drops and group goals are not met. The experiential learning approach taken in the project whereby facilitators participate in training as if they themselves were girls going through the group has provided most useful and a positive tool for learning.

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