In Zambia, most parents are not as available and free to talk to the girl child on issues affecting them. The only time a parent, through an aunt, speaks to the girl child is when the child reaches puberty or is about to get married. And this is mainly restricted to how to enhance their hygiene levels. The reality is that a lot of things are happening in the pre-teen to teen years, their hormones are all over the place, their bodies are changing and more often than not are unsure of what is really happening. It is at this stage that girls need more attention and simply to be listened to. It’s at this stage that children believe and take everything said about them as gospel truth and the sad reality is that they are often more negative than positive words spoken over these children’s lives.
This is why Beyond Ourselves conducts ‘Dignity Campaigns’ with young girls in schools to speak into their lives about what God has spoken about their lives. The campaign is useful for reminding girls of who God says they are, how God sees and values them and to understand that their life has a purpose. The essence of this campaign is to create safe places for the girls to be free to discuss what is happening in their lives and listen to what others have been through and how they overcame.
Beyond Ourselves recently conducted a Dignity Campaign event at Wiphan Westbourne School in Kaloko, Ndola which was attended by 29 learners and 6 members of staff. The learners were very excited as they felt really special that time was set aside to just talk about what is happening in their lives. One girl said ‘I didn’t know I would feel beautiful simply by hearing someone say that I am beautiful.’