iNSPIRE, powering girl learners to lead their lives

From the 16th to the 20th of May 2016 Valued Citizens Initiative conducted monitoring and evaluation in 10 public high schools that benefited from the iNSPIRE programme in 2013, in Uthungulu District - KwaZulu Natal. The process was to engage all stakeholder’s in interviews assessing their portfolios and evaluating the impact of this leadership programme at individual and collective levels in schools.

According to the Kwa-Zulu Natal Department of Education: “Many adolescents are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and HIV and AIDS infections due to unusually high levels of poverty. The problem is further exacerbated by limited knowledge of sexual reproductive health (SRH), rendering adolescents vulnerable to making unhealthy lifestyle choices.”.

Fortunate, one of our iNSPIRE girl learners was breaking down from grade 10 going through the divorce of her parents, she fell in love with a boyfriend filling the void of isolation and ignored everything-else around her, losing herself. She got pregnant in Grade 11. Angry a family member beat her up and caused the miscarriage of her child at that time she remembered – “at the iNSPIRE leadership camp, I learnt that one has a choice and need to take responsibility for the choice made and have the courage to own her story, and I just did that going back to school”.

In their respective schools, our iNSPIRE girl leaders organised teenage pregnancy dialogues and awareness campaigns, “girls’ talks” and effective peer education inviting relevant stakeholders such as nurses, NGOs and community leaders. Adding to the great work done by our iNSPIRE girl leaders, academically they are focused. Deputy Principal of Emkhayideni Technical Secondary School shared - “These girls have a positive attitude towards their school work. I live with one of the iNSPIRE girl learners because of her family challenges, she is focused, always studying. I expect at least two distinctions from her, and her fellow girl leaders.”
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