NW girls spend a day with senior govt officials

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mafikeng - More than 175 girl learners in the North West have spent a day at work with senior government officials to better prepare themselves for the job market.

This was part of government's annual Take a Girl Child to Work campaign, which is themed "change your world".

The campaign, which is endorsed by the national Department of Education, targets girl children in Grades 10, 11 and 12. It aims to give the young women basic skills to enable them to face the future with confidence.

The Director of Status of Women and the Rights of Children in the Office of the Premier, Memory Herholdt, told BuaNews on Thursday that more that 20 children in each region of the province participated in the programme.

"We are supporting this programme because this is an excellent opportunity for us in the province to motivate girl children.

"We have mostly selected girl children from the rural areas, who have not been exposed to any working environment in the cities," she said.

She said the learners were thrilled and eager to learn. "So far they are enjoying themselves by interacting with senior people at the government," she said, adding that they would continue supporting programmes that empower girl children.

BuaNews spoke to some of the girls at the Office of the Premier. Grade 12 leaner from Setlopo village, Kebaabetswe Mothakanele, 17, said spending a day with top government officials had motivated and taught her a lot.

"I am very happy that I got the opportunity to come here and spend my day in a working environment like this one.

"It is so encouraging because I got to know a lot of issues that women face in the workplace. especially in leadership positions," she explained.

Kebaabetswe said she wanted to become an environmental specialist when she completed her studies.

She said it was the first time that she had interacted with senior people at work, especially those who are women.

"I have never been exposed to a situation where people are working and dealing with issues that empower women.

"I did not know that there are a lot of challenges facing women at the workplace, so listening to Ms Herholdt, it is so encouraging," she said.

Another learner, Nobutlhe Msimanga, 17, also from Setlopo Village said spending some time with women at work encouraged her to take her school work more seriously.

"I enjoyed myself here today; it was so interesting to listen to women talking about their challenges at work.

"They spoke about leadership style, how to manage people at work and many other things that mangers have to deal with on a daily basis," Nobutlhe said, adding that this has encouraged her to work hard in completing her matric.

The Take a Girl Child to Work campaign was first introduced by mobile-phone service provider; Cell C. The campaign introduced a special day into the school curriculum to help educators provide tools to help female learners gain knowledge about the world of work.

Since its introduction seven years ago, the campaign has grown in leaps and bounds and has benefited thousands of young women.

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