Written by Faith Ngwenya, TF educator intern.

The Ubuntu Girls Club hails in the rural village of Sgagula which operates under the support of the Wildflower Centre at Nourish EcoVillage. The aim of this club to offer educational and social support to young girls and empowering them to embrace their importance in the community and averting every chance of these girls ending up as victims of teenage pregnancy through sexual education and awareness. The Ubuntu Girls Club is the pillar and support structure of these young ladies & girls, with efforts focused on producing young girls with good morals, strong independence and who also have the outmost respect for their culture and their own self-love.

Recently, ten (10) of the ubuntu girls were taken on an educational environmental experience to Koru Camp. The Timbavati Foundation collaborates with Koru Camp which offers the most exciting and educational programmes for various age groups. The programmes which were offered at Koru were aimed at enhancing their environmental education knowledge which has been passed on in the classroom and taken into practice in their wilderness and getting the girls to experience the marvellous enchanting beauty of nature.

Koru Camp - Ubuntu Girls
Photo credit - Koru Camp (Emily Whiting)

The thing with camping is that it takes you out of your comfort zone and teaches you a few things about life too, nature has its own way of educating and with the best guides at Koru, the girls had game drive experiences like no other which was however not only because of the sighting of wild animals but also giving them a deeper meaning of how important it is to know your worth. Animals have deeper meanings to life that is somehow related to how we live. This helps the girls to put into practice what they were taught in the camp into practice when they are in their respective homes.

Their smiles and laughter showed that a little push can make a difference, that words can make a difference, that a listening ear can heal a broken soul. Koru did exceptional in proving emotional support to all the girls, giving them purpose to believe in their dreams, giving them hope through motivation and mentorship. It is these young minds that needs to be nourished and polished with care to have the best responsible girls in our communities.

Photo credit - Koru Camp (Emily Whiting)

Sesi Dineo (which means sister in our Xitsonga language) welcomed the girls with love and you could see the joy that sparkled in her eyes as she dedicated her time to listening to the girls talk, advising them, teaching them a few things about being a girl and venturing into womanhood. It was such a lovely experience as the campfire was the perfect spot to engage with them and get them to open up because it has a feeling of comfort. What caught my attention was how quickly the girls transitioned from being shy and quickly within a blink of an eye then they became these open and bubbly young girls who have so much to give to the world and that is why such programmes are important in their development.

With the outreach of such amazing non-profit organisations working in collaboration together such experiences would be only a dream to these girls, as in much as camping doesn’t seem fancy and glamorous, it however was the best educational and perfect place to impart discipline to these girls.

This is what Dineo had to say “We want the girls to discover themselves as individuals, to realise their own potential, to improve their self-esteem, understanding how to love themselves, building sisterhood and allowing them to learn about life skills in an open space. We also connect them to the incredible wildlife on safari but most importantly giving them the necessary tools to be change makers when it comes to environmental issues they are faced with, within their communities and that in return will help to preserve their beautiful heritage”.
Photo credit - Koru Camp (Emily Whiting)
Photo credit - Koru Camp (Emily Whiting)

It is the efforts of these amazing organisations that makes a difference in a girl’s life, a little can make an impact and I acknowledge the passion the staff personnel of Koru have towards their work, it is also with great gratitude to thank the Timbavati Foundation and Nourish NPO for offering such programmes it really makes a difference and with hope that it expands to reach out to more young girls out there through hosting such amazing camps.

Photo credit - Koru Camp (Emily Whiting)