Melissa Joins Girls' Club

May 12, 2017
By Sibusisiwe Ndlovu; Edited by Leanna Cappiello

IGATE stands for Improving Girls’ Access Through Education, a program run by World Vision to empower girls, like Melissa, through various programs such as girls’ club. Her family has even benefited from training and life skills education, which is helping to build their best future as a family.

Here, she tells us her experience of the program in her own words:

“My name is Mellisa. I am a 13-year-old girl and currently in grade seven. I am a member of the girls’ club which I joined in 2014. l am blessed to be a member of the girls’ club, as l am now engaging in various activities at school. I live with my grandmother who is a member of the village savings and lending club and is also in the mothers group.

“We do drama and poetry in the girls’ club. This term, we are playing girls soccer, netball and volleyball. I was taught how to sew pads, and the matron teaches us on personal hygiene and menstrual hygiene for girls from 10 years of age. The IGATE project has changed my life.

“Before the introduction of the IGATE project in our school and community, I never thought l would manage to proceed to grade seven because my grandmother was struggling to pay my school fees and secure other basic education necessities. I thank IGATE as it has enlightened our community, including my grandmother. She joined a village savings and lending group and she is now able to pay my fees at school on time. I [haven’t] been chased away from school like I used to before. I no longer lack anything that is needed at school.

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“Now l am very confident that I will pass grade seven and proceed to secondary school as my grandmother is able to pay my school fees, buy uniforms, stationery and food for the family.

“After completing my studies I want to be a nurse, and the encouragement that I am giving to other girls within the community is that they should value education and never drop out from school and have good behavior.”

The encouragement that the IGATE program brings to children like Melissa is contagious. “I am giving to other girls within the community is that they should value education and never drop out from school," she says, “I am so thankful.”