Empowering women has always been important to me. Perhaps more so in recent years though. For as long as I’ve lived, I’ve been surrounded by people who believe in the power we have as individuals to make a difference. I’ve watched lives being changed because of the opportunities given to them. I’ve seen dreams become realities because someone gave that one person a chance.
I was raised to believe that if you’re in a position of privilege in any way, it’s your responsibility to give a hand up to someone else. I don’t know if that sounds condescending but I’m really aware of my position and the good fortune I’ve had in my life. I wasn’t born into a wealthy family but along the way, my family made sure that I lacked nothing.
I watched them educate not just me and my brothers but numerous others too. I watched my dad hire people who would never have had a chance and promote people out of jobs with nowhere to go into jobs with the world in front of them.
I learnt a lot from my family about the importance of using whatever you have to help others!
So this morning, when I woke up, I knew that the umming and ahhing I’ve had in my mind for YEARS over this idea needed to happen. I’ve got the time, I’ve got the resources and I’ve got the passion for it and finally, I stopped feeling afraid. Okay who am I kidding, I’m still afraid but I decided that I’ll just have to deal with that.
So I started this group on Facebook. You might think it’s “just a Facebook group” and so what… but to me, it’s more than just a group. It’s a way to reach out to women who might never have had the opportunity, who might never have known that they could get a little hand up from somewhere. This group is a way to connect.
The current situation in South Africa
My dream has ALWAYS been to one day start an NGO of my own. Everything I did over the last 6 years before having Oden was working towards that goal. When I got my Masters in Social Development, when I got experience in various NGOs, when I did a course in HR to learn how to run a business from the people side and the legal side, to my job (though very brief) as a fundraiser – all in order to get the expertise I needed to open my NGO – a job assistance centre for youth.
Over the last couple of years though, I’ve become more and more passionate about women and the limitations that “we” face. I’ve become more aware of the importance of empowering women to achieve more. I guess becoming a mother has also made me even more aware of how hard it is to succeed as a woman with a child.
Living in a country where according to StatsSA the official unemployment rate is currently 26,7% and the “expanded” rate estimated at 36,3% it’s clear that unemployment is a HUGE issue in South Africa.
“Women in South Africa are the face of poverty and face hunger more than men due to disparities in income, limited access to employment or means of production and cultural practices that put them last or allow them smaller portions…the most food insecure households were those headed by women or children because 46% of South African men received salaries compared to only 32% of South African women” – Women in Poverty, ANC, 2014.
The idea is based around a paid service I currently offer empowering women who need guidance or advice but this group is geared towards women who have no resources to pay someone for help. It’s for women who might feel helpless and hopeless!
This group isn’t the answer to poverty in South Africa, but it might very well be a hand up to one woman. Just one. Maybe I can help, maybe you can help. maybe together we are powerful beyond measure. This is a group for those with the resources to help, for those needing help and for those who might need held or might even just have a good idea they want to discuss.
So what is this group exactly?
The Empowered Woman Programme Group provides FREE guidance and support for South African women who are unemployed and need advice or suggestions on what type of employment is suitable for them, what types of jobs they could apply for or businesses they could start using their skills or with a limited budget.
The aim of the programme is empowering women by helping them get employed or start a business of their own using the skills they have already or opportunities they may have been unaware of.
The idea is to help women with their CV’s, or prepare for an interview, find suitable jobs to apply for or even give advise on an interview outfit! Anything you need to confidently get that job because these things may be obvious to some but they can be the only thing standing between someone and a job!
If you need help, or you know someone who needs help or you could provide guidance and help then please join the group or share the group or add people to it!
It’s completely free, I’m not getting anything out of it except maybe knowing that I played a small part in someone’s life!
Have a wonderfully empowered week!
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