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This Youth Month, we chatted to Sam Gqomo, founding director of the Womandla Foundation, who shared with us how the organisation is striving towards its mission of informing, empowering and equipping women and girls with the tools and skills necessary to live out their destiny.
Womandla is a non-profit company that seeks to bridge the gender gap in Africa, empowering women to attain their own economic development, while also uplifting their communities and society at large. To meet its objectives, Womandla collaborates with other organisations to promote social innovation, public education, community enrichment and transformation.
Its projects are based on four pillars; STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths), mentorship, entrepreneurship, and development, and include coding workshops and bursaries to help women and girls thrive and compete in the 4IR workforce.
Gqomo explained that one of the toughest challenges for young girls in vulnerable communities is accessing menstrual sanitaryware: “The biggest problem and challenge that we’ve met at the schools is that the girls don’t have sanitary towels or anything really for that time of the month and so it’s quite difficult to talk about anything else that’s all about your dreams, etc., when you sometimes can’t even attend school.”
In order to help keep these girls in school, Womandla’s subsidiary efforts include raising funds and donations to provide menstrual sanitaryware. “It’s a problem,” said Gqomo, that they will miss out [on school] for something that is biological and natural.”
The main way in which the business community can support all of Womandla’s efforts is through funding its projects: “They can either create activities that we can partner in so that it’s mutually beneficial or support us by funding our initiatives,” she said.
Sharing her message for Youth Month, Gqomo said, “We need to find the silver lining, the focus and the vision, and the unity to drive out what our future should look like.”
BY SINDY PETERS 20 OCT 2020