A group of women in Bulawayo has come together to launch a new initiative called Lead Girls to School to give underprivileged girls mostly from rural communities an opportunity to complete their education.
The launch of the project will coincide with this year`s International Day of the Girl Child celebrations.
The International Day of the Girl Child is on October 11 and runs under the theme “Empowering Girls for a Better Tomorrow”.
Speaking to CITE, the Campaign Coordinator Mantate Mlotshwa noted that the initiative is aiming to mobilize resources to cover school fees for a year and stationery for at least two rural girls in six selected provinces in the country.
“These provinces include Matabeleland South, North, Bulawayo, Harare, Mashonaland East, and West provinces,” she said.
“Our target is grade six girls going to grade 7 because they normally struggle after exams to access their results because of tuition shortages and we are still brainstorming how to pick the two out of many girls.”
The coordinator added that as young women they grew up under the notion that education is the key and they want to give back to the community to keep it afloat.
“If young women and girls are financially supported to stay in school and mentored by the stories of role models whose journeys they can relate to, then young girls will reaffirm their confidence in education as a tool for success,” said Mlotshwa.
She added that the corroding economy in Zimbabwe has not only widened the gap between the poor and the rich but has also resulted in high levels of unemployment in the country with thousands of graduates struggling to secure employment.
“It is through these lenses that our young girls are beginning to question the value of and truthfulness of education in opening doors to their success,” said Mlotshwa.
”We are aiming for young girls to see women existing in the same economy as themselves acting as role models and hope this will challenge a mindset change around what education can do for anyone who decides to be innovative and creative enough to manoeuvre the various challenges that come with being Zimbabwean.”
As part of the initiative, a digital media campaign titled Phenomenal Women Profiles will be launched where four phenomenal Zimbabwean women will be profiled and their stories shared on social media and each of the profiled women will be asked to do a 15 minute live stream on their pages either auctioning one item they love, or asking their followers to donate towards the school fees and stationery fundraising initiative.