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City pilot project gives school dropouts a hand up<p>​​​​The City of Cape Town and the Small Project Foundation are teaming up to empower a group of young women in Hanover Park who have been identified as ‘youth at risk’. ​</p><div>The Girls Matter Project involves 10 participants identified through the Women in Rental Stock initiative who have dropped out of school and are considered at risk of falling prey to social ills. </div><div><br></div><div>Aged between 15 and 23, the young women from Hanover Park are taking part in a 12-week programme that aims to bolster their personal development and make them less susceptible to anti-social influences. This includes focusing on issues like personal hygiene, dealing with substance abuse and peer pressure, honing skills such as communication and assertiveness, and enhancing their self-esteem.</div><div><br></div><div>‘These young women have dropped out of school for various reasons. Our objective is not to judge, but simply to try and ensure that they’re not left vulnerable to anti-social influences. More and more young women are becoming involved in criminal activities in our communities and we have to do all we can to try and change that. This particular group of young women has put their hands up and are willing to empower themselves and improve their chances of a better future,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Councillor Suzette Little. </div><div><br></div><div>The Girls Matter Project aims to help the participants develop a realistic plan for their future, which includes completing their basic education. In addition, the project also seeks to ensure that participants:</div><div><ul><li>become and stay drug-free where applicable<br></li><li>find a way to ‘pay it forward’ to at least three people in their area<br></li><li>establish a support network for other vulnerable girls in the area<br></li><li>develop skills for self-care<br></li><li>have a good understanding of sexuality and reproductive health<br></li><li>have an understanding of basic entrepreneurial training (to give yourself a job)<br></li><li>demonstrate an improvement from baseline on the BECK hopelessness scale which measures three major aspects of hopelessness: feelings about the future, loss of motivation, and expectations<br>​</li></ul></div><div>Some of the young women have already indicated that they would like to complete their schooling and obtain some kind of formal training. Two of them have enrolled in night school so that they may complete their matric on a part-time basis, while three others want to pursue tertiary education and training opportunities including one who wants to be a chef.</div><div><br></div><div>The pilot project was rolled out in Hanover Park because it is a high-risk area, but also because the Small Project Foundation is already active in the area. Once the pilot project runs its course and the impact assessment has been completed, the City will consider rolling out the Girls Matter Project in Manenberg and Athlone.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><strong>End</strong></div><div><br></div>2016-11-22T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#0f032dee-c9f1-4d1c-9edb-fa384d1a7619;L0|#00f032dee-c9f1-4d1c-9edb-fa384d1a7619|Girls matter pilot project;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#3e26e42a-10d8-49df-ae5e-3ccf93541793;L0|#03e26e42a-10d8-49df-ae5e-3ccf93541793|Hanover Park;GP0|#9607e1cc-ac2e-4a60-8055-ed9af17f7177;L0|#09607e1cc-ac2e-4a60-8055-ed9af17f7177|Women in rental stock initiative1


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