Empowering Young Girls through Education in the Biggest Township of Cape Town

The good news continues: in the beginning of April, construction of a Girl's School commences in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa!

Children growing up in Khayelitsha face many problems. Khayelitsha is one of Cape town’s biggest and most historic townships, housing over 800,000 individuals living in abject poverty. High levels of HIV, unemployment, high levels of crime and violence, and a lack of sanitation are key problems that determine the daily life of many children. Especially girls experience violence and abuse in daily life – sometimes even in schools. This gender-based violence often makes it difficult to bring girls into school or to keep them there. Consequently, many girls do not complete their education levels and do not obtain educational skills that are highly needed in order to succeed in life.

This is one of the reasons why our implementing partner Molo Mhlaba was founded: Molo Mhlaba Schools evolved out of an afterschool program that was caring for latchkey girls who were left unattended for long hours after school and most of whom were becoming vulnerable to threats. Molo Mhlaba concluded that developing a school that catered for girls through an extended school day (9.5-hour school day), ensured stability, safety and the possibility of promoting the educational skills of the girls.

One of the Facilities of the Future School
One of the Facilities of the Future School

The plan is to purchase a privately-owned piece of land and to build a small campus that will house 200 children, 22 teaching positions and 10 support staff positions to service the school daily. The school will consist of four classrooms for children aged 3-6, and 6-9, a robotics and computer lab hall, another spare classroom used by a social worker, and an educational psychologist (both to look after the girls), a school kitchen, and sufficient staff offices, and toilets.

The school is inspired by graded learning and appropriate life-lesson development, and each girl is valued for her unique sense of individuality, ambition, and intelligence. This work directly impacts and contributes to the economic empowerment of women, reducing violence against girls and improving educational outcomes for the children of Khayelitsha.

We will keep you updated about the school’s construction process!