A Mini-Revolution in Rural Africa Paves a New Road for Women in I.T

Powerful. That is the modern African woman. The one who is sole care-giver to her younger siblings and carer for her grandparents. The one who is a single-parent. The one who needs to rebuild the fabric and foundation of family and community. The one who needs to overcome redundant stereotypes and step up – she is the leader of the next generation. Often she just needs a little “leg up.”

Six young women at Good Work Foundation’s (GWF) Hazyview Digital Learning Centre (HDLC) have been studying this year thanks to bursaries (and a leg up) from an organisation called Empowers Africa. These women are sponsored to study in programmes that are built to “bridge” them into the future: The ICDL or International Computer Driving License, Food and Beverage Management, as part of online hospitality training, as well as an English for Access, abet-aligned standard English literacy course.

Progress:

“It hasn’t been easy, because I only learnt how to use a computer when I came to HDLC. We had no computer classes in high school and accessing the internet was through my mobile phone. GWF changed that as I now have access to a computer with internet connection and I am on a mission to ready myself for a future with many opportunities.” said Thandazile Ngwenya, who believes that one day she will be a qualified Front Office Manager for a major company.

Enjoying the journey?

Not every student is thinking “career” only. Girly Khoza is one of our Empower’s Africa students who has been inspired to use this year as an opportunity. “I want to graduate from High School,” says Girly. “This year has given me the confidence to do that. And when I am finished that, I will have my Matric certificate and three internationally recognised qualifications from GWF.”

Future endeavours

The “girl power” message is loud and clear. Each one of these women is proud to be part of a community and organisation that is encouraging women to pursue digital learning. That “feeling” is something new to this part of the world. It’s not “in your face” and it certainly doesn’t exclude young, ambitious men. But it’s there none-the-less: a mini revolution. In this village, it’s the women applying for bursaries, the women who are embracing “digital” and it’s the women who are – for the first time – growing into a formidable group of leaders.

So thank you Empowers Africa. Each one of these six women will be graduating this year, and each one’s success will ripple out: to a family and community that respects what each one of them has done. When people look for the “leg up” and you give it to them, and they they jump high, for all to see … that’s inspiring.

If you would like to empower or sponsor young women who are part of our adult “bridging year” programme in Mpumalanga, please contact Ryan James: ryan@goodworkfoundation.org.

From Left : Priscilla Mlhanga, Prema Ngwenya, Girly Khoza, Mfumo Thobela, Thandazile Ngwenya, feeling empowered and ready to go digital on the world.

From Left : Priscilla Mlhanga, Prema Ngwenya, Girly Khoza, Mfumo Thobela, Thandazile Ngwenya, feeling empowered and ready to go digital on the world.

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