Women’s Leadership Training in Centocow
When Jane first visited Centocow in 2001 she visited the offices of the Centocow Leadership Training Group, a women’s empowerment group facilitated by Thoko Dlamini. This programme of training has its roots in a Christian programme called the Grail and emerged in South Africa in the 1930s
In the 1980s equality training by consciousness raising, role play and enquiry focused on power and inequality under apartheid and gave women a voice but by the late 1990s the issues turned towards HIV/Aids and gender issues as well as practical lessons of sustainable agriculture.
One young woman, Sibongile Mtungwa, from a poor rural background in Centocow was chosen by the then priest to undertake the training. She is now the director of the Women’s Leadership Training Programme, having obtained a degree in Development Studies from Dublin University.
At present she is undertaking a Masters degree. and is about to begin a further round of Women’s training focusing on groups of pre-teen, teen and young women over a period of 3 years in the Centocow area. The President of South Africa has just issued a statement in which he decries the outrageous incidence of rape and gender abuse by men across South Africa and one of Sibongile’s aims is to liberate and empower young women in their communities.
She says “To discover my true self, I had to stretch my neck high like a giraffe to see beyond my known world and find inspiration and meaning in the foreign lands where I did short courses. That was the beginning of my life as you see it today.
I have committed myself to giving space, opportunity, support and leadership skills to other girls and young women so that they too will have the courage and confidence to make their own choices. I don’t give up on myself and I don’t give up on girls and women.”
It is part of our aim as the Devon Centocow Link to help to fund this initiative and we will be applying for funding for this and other exciting initiatives in the area.
For more information about WLTP follow this link