In the second edition of our Meet Our Mentors series, we talk with Nozipho Khoza, an aspiring teacher who trained with the Girls Empowerment Club (GEC) program seven months ago and now works in two schools in the Lubombo region.
“I’ve learned a lot from SWAGAA, especially to be a loving person. Someone who has love, who has passions.”
Since becoming a GEC mentor, Nozipho has seen a lot of positive change in her students, including better attendance rates at school and a stronger sense of pride and confidence. Even the Head Teacher of Mabhensane Primary School, where Nozipho mentors a club called the Shining Stars, has commented on the improvements he has seen,
“Their behaviour in school has changed drastically. I used to have a lot of late-comers from the group but we are no longer experiencing that.”
For Nozipho, she sees herself as a role model – encouraging girls to stay focused, to be motivated to achieve their goals and to grow up feeling like they know themselves. She is also helping them understand the impacts of gender-based violence on both individuals and communities. When combined, these skills are a powerful force for young girls who often confront patriarchy and sexual violence in their daily lives.
Through the GEC program, Nozipho has better equipped her students for their future. She believes, “as young as they are, they will also teach others about gender-based violence. They will be aware if anything happens to them [and] they will know where to report.”
When talking about her experience with SWAGAA as a club mentor, Nozipho has said, “I’ve learned a lot from SWAGAA, especially to be a loving person. Someone who has love, who has passions.