12 April 2015 – Thursday 26 May 2016 heralds the 14th anniversary of the Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Programme. This movement and its potential outcomes continue to grow in stature and strength and this year’s Miss South Africa, Ntandoyenkosi Kunene has been appointed the campaign’s official ambassador.
Many girl children are born into environments where their family members don’t work in corporates, are neither in charge of their own businesses nor work in professions such as medicine or law. This makes it difficult for them to gain work experience or receive positive advice about their future which, in the long run, will have an impact on their confidence, self-belief and ambitions.Says Minister of Women in the Presidency, the Honourable Susan Shabangu who is supporting the campaign: “I believe that Cell C’s initiative to inspire girl learners forms a key foundation in helping empower women in our society. Choosing a career after leaving school is one of life’s major decisions and not everyone is fortunate enough to know what they want to do and be able to vigorously pursue it. With strong support from businesses and institutions around the country, this initiative has already been a huge success which has impacted on the lives of many young women.”
In a continued effort to keep the drive exciting and relevant, the Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day campaign has taken on a new form this year – enlisting the expertise of three of the country’s foremost leaders in business and media: Basetsana Kumalo, Dolly Mokgatle and Leanne Manas.
Basetsana Kumalo was crowned Miss South Africa in 1994. Among a number of her successful endeavours, Bassie co-owns an award-winning production company – Tswelopele Productions. “Given the number of young women who are unemployed and therefore vulnerable in every possible way, the education and mentoring of girls is critical. I look forward to contributing to this movement,” she says of her involvement in the campaign.
Dolly Mokgatle is a qualified attorney and business woman with significant experience in the electricity industry. She is an executive director of the Peotona Group Holdings and Chairman of the Electricity Distributing Industry. Mokgatle believes experiential learning is essential to the overall development of girls: “It’s important to help young people work through the emotions that cut deep within themselves and heal. We need to help them see beyond the stereotypes used to define women, to help them realize their own self-worth in spite of their personal background.”
Leanne Manas is an award-winning anchor, MC and presenter on SABC 2’s Morning Live. She believes that young women need to have a real understanding of the demanding world of work. “Striving for excellence, doing more than needed ensures that you put down strong roots in the work arena. Working hard and enjoying what you do helps you achieve that excellence. Exposure to the world of work, as Cell C’s Take a Girl Child to Work Day does, is a giant step towards an understanding of that,” she says.
Cell C acknowledges the importance of investing in the lives of women as key contributors to the country’s socio-economic development. “By empowering young women to think about their future, we believe this possibility will become a reality,” says Cell C Foundation Managing Executive, Suzette van der Merwe.
Registration for the 2016 Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day is now open and you are encouraged to register your company’s participation at www.cellcgirlchild.co.za before 18 May 2016.