Empowering Girls Through Confidence Building

My  beginners` training manual for all the women and girls I have had personal contact and interaction with  is out and I will be imparting skills and knowledge to girls in Africa from 11 to 16 July 2010.

Many  women and girls  who have listened to me share my journey from being a victim of rape at age six to being a survivor and then an internationally acclaimed girl child rights advocate have been greatly inspired by my story . My story is slightly  different from theirs because  I  have transformed  negative experiences into  positive energy. I have facilitated transformation of myself through mobilizing ,organizing and leading in girls empowerment at grassroots level . As I feel I have been successful I have decided to help others do the same so that  they too become leaders  walking in the fullness of their potential.

As I embark on a journey to inspire many  more women and girls to be confident, I will share how every step I take  transforms me first and then how such transformation is transmitted into others  . I will share how to deal with every thorn and spanner that can possibly hinder and deter full physical, spiritual and economic empowerment  and growth of women and girls.

My approach in this training  therefore is very simple , sincere ,honest and truthful .I will share my real  experience when I supported my own empowerment as I built Girl Child Network  from scratch. I had the confidence to form the first girls club in a classroom as a teacher and then later I managed to transform this small organization from a poor classroom into the global village Confidence ,innovation ,leadership principles ,creativity and passion played a major part in this and I will share more on this .

The training I have designed is interactive, engaging and grounded to everyday experience of activists working in difficult  and often economically ,socially and politically challenging situations .Having confidence in such situations is very important because as an emerging leader one must be equipped with skill and knowledge on what behavior to use in what situation. Individual girls ,their families and communities embrace  transformation slowly and with reservations because of socially constructed roles expected of men and women in society . Girls are domesticated from the day they are born ,often named Dambudzo translated Trouble has come and they are not permanent members of the family like boys as they are on transit to get married . So gender analysis will be a topical issue during the training because we must unpack the scripts stamped on women and girls by society and restore a culture of gender equality and equity.

Many women and girls want to know, How to start and run Girls Empowerment Clubs .I will share what the Girl Child Network Empowerment Model  is and what steps I took to rise from a classroom teacher in a poor high density suburb of  Chitungwiza  to  be an international  champion of girls` rights  now running Girl Child Network Worldwide. Experiential training that I offer  is based on my experience as a self confidence builder as well as a supporter of girls empowerment  and the first grassroots teacher to start an organization and get eighteen most prestigious  global awards for innovation, excellence and being advocate for girls rights . I started Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe in 1998 and since then I have seen thousands of girls now scattered round the world emerging to be some of the greatest leaders ever produced in Africa.

I learnt from  my lived reality  and it is this reality that evokes girls and women’s potential .My story is her story and her story  and my story is our story.

As I walk  through this journey of self discovery for self worth with young women and girls who want to be leaders , I call upon everyone to start the training with a positive mind that what they want is always what they must get .Everyone is born confident and it is always the world around us that undermines this confidence through perceived victim mentality stemming from attitude, belief and practice.

The training is structured in  eight   sections  and each section takes a day of thorough analysis, experience sharing in a free and safe environment ,mapping a plan to change and many activities  like public speaking, poetry and musical performance will be done .  Field visits to shelters of victims of violence and other such community activities will be done so that participants can be exposed to real life situations .

Participants will be assisted to document this new journey through a journal that they make and keep as a treasure for this will guide their own monitoring and evaluation of the impact of training on their lives. Videos ,real life photos and stories will be shown to demonstrate stages of empowerment and confidence building.

If electricity can be generated, transmitted and distributed and make our homes shine and bring heat to cook and warm or cool us ,then the same goes with confidence building. If confidence is not generated by an individual it will die naturally and so will an individual. At the end of the seven  day  program ,trainee is left inspired to unleash her potential for innovative leadership.

Now relax, feel good, unique and be proud that you are on a journey to regain, boost and regain  your  self confidence

Betty Makoni – Trainer