Girl Child Network Takes Legacy of Empowering Girls Worldwide

Girls empowered by GCN are BIG WOMEN

From torn paper to laptop to email to technology to communication

From silent victims of harmful cultural practices to international advocates for girls rights

From speechless girls ,to mouthful girls

From the smoky huts to five star hotels

From the dark potholed dusty roads of remote rural areas to lightful streets of Oxford,New York,Harare

From invisible past to visible present and future

From tearful songs to songs of empowerment

From verseless poerty to voiceful poetry

Girls are walking in the fullness of their potential

(By Betty Makoni-Unpublished poet and Founder of Girl Child Network)

On Sartuday 21 March 2009 ,Girl Child Network (www.gcnzimbabwe.org) turned ten .There is a girl who emailed me as below and I felt she summed it up well so well

(Please note I removed her name from the original email but the rest of the email is in its original form and content )

Hello Betty

I was at Tsindi Secondary School in Rusape, Manicaland in 2006. I just want to say a big thank you to you and the Girl Child Network Trust Zimbabwe. You helped me a lot not financially but with the sweeet and advising words you said when you came to our School. Now I have grown knowing my rights, knowing I have to speak up and always view the sky as the limit.

Me being brought up in our small village and we did not have enough opportunities to do what other girls where doing, I used to look at myself like I am nothing and whenever we had sports and gatherings, I used to feel like I do not exist. Thanks to you I finally saw the potential which was inside myself, right now as I write to you I am studying Nursing and Paramedic and I will be going to university in September which is amazing. I will be going to Oxford university by the way and I give all the thanks to you because you made me realise I can do anything.I hope the GCNT is still going on nomatter what happened or what happens back home.
Thank you very much and god bless!!!

I hope Mai Mvududu is still chearful as she used to be.

Love you and take care..

Personally I never imagined a situation where a rural girl would one day email from Oxford to say I finally made it.I was used to seeing girls with dirty ,torn uniforms,shoeless and rough feet and rough hands. My picture of girls in tears ,overworked,married off ,domesticated and raped made me worry a lot .Each time I looked at them I saw great potential erased by abject poverty.Now when I open my email box ten years down the line ,I get messages that make me feel the world must relook empowerment programs for girls and replicate wherever,whenever ,however they can the Girl Child Empowerment Model by Girl Child Network. I told girls in Canada many times that each time I fly to their country it is the voice of a male pilot that I hear and then I see many air hostesses serving food. Not that it is a bad thing to be an airhostess but we need the number of those pilots and air hostesses balanced in terms of gender .So we must not tire in our efforts in supporting girls so that we close on the gender inequality gap created by patriachy in the world and according to me it does not matter whether one is in the north or south.It looks gender inequality and women empowerment needs to be addressed at a much earlier stage .Girls will be women but women will never be girls again and so we start now !!!!!!!!!!!!!

In Chitungwiza a high density suburb of over one million people ,girls celebrated their 10th anniversary and Stembile Mabhena ,former National Girls Executive Secretary General and current representative of girls on the board gave a key note address and spelt out the next vision for Girl Child Network from 2009 to 2019. Girls will marched from our offices in Zengeza 4 to Makoni Shopping centre.

Throughout the years to come many events will be in place formally and informally where Girl Child Network will share the Girl Child Network Model within and outside Zimbabwe