WINDHOEK – The Women’s Leadership Centre with the Support of the Embassy of Finland last Thursday hosted the public advocacy for the rights of San girls to mark the end of the ‘San girls prevent child marriage and early pregnancy/motherhood project’.
Nineteen girls from the San community in Tsintsabis, Witvlei, Drimiopsis and Omega One participated in the project for the past two and a half years. The programme advocated for gender equality and aimed at giving them a voice and making them understand their rights.
With the help of community facilitators from those areas, and funded by the Finnish Embassy in Windhoek, two classes per week were held during the entire period of the programme.
And while the program came to an end, both participants and facilitators received their certificates, to reward them for their work for during the two and a half years.
“Teaching should be completely inclusive. Knowledge is power, and this program has given you power,” said Ayesha Wentworth, the Deputy Director of Diagnostic, Advisory and Training Services for the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, also present at the event. She also denounced the bullying that a lot of kids from the San community experience at school.
For the Finnish Embassy, it was also the occasion to present the new booklet “San Girls! First Girls!”, to try to reach even more San girls. “During the programme, we saw the girls finding their voice and supporting themselves,” explained Suvi Valkonen, the Programme Coordinator for the Finnish Embassy. “You must let no one take down your culture”, she added.
But even if the project is over now, the community facilitators said they intend to continue working with the girls, to continue the work already done and to keep supporting each other.
San community represents less than two percent of the Namibian population and are between 30 000 and 36 000.