Why I chose Girl Child Network

I would say I am educated about various issues that have occurred /are occurring in AFRICAN Nations. Unlike Sarah Palin who didn’t understand that AFRICA was a continent, I can confidently say that I have researched and written essays about the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the DARFUR WAR and the Rwandan genocide.

I have spear-headed high school/community events, raising awareness and funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, World Visions 30 hour Famine, CAPAIDS and INVISIBLE CHILDREN an organisation aiming to support the children of Uganda.

I have read various novels, watched documentaries and have had educated discussions with my grandparents who have travelled to African countries. I am aware of issues concerning war, disease, government corruption and the negative effects of colonialism;

However it wasn’t until hearing Betty Makoni speak, with so much passion and emotion that I became aware about the pressing issue of RAPE and ABUSE of young girls. By using statistics and personal experiences, Betty opened my eyes to the many ways that the girl children in Zimbabwe are abused in the name of Culture, Religion, or Superstitious beliefs – the most noted among them, the notion that sex with a virgin cures HIV. Betty educated me, I was transformed.

While sitting in a small classroom filled with students, Community members, Professors and T.A’s, listening to Betty, something inside me clicked! I suddenly felt inspired; the words – ‘I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING’ – repeated in my head, I felt jittery in my seat, clinging to every word Betty spoke. At that moment I knew that it marked the beginning of GREAT things to come after her presentation, I rushed home and called my parents and two close friends. I told them of the girls in Zimbabwe and about Betty and urged them to visit the GCN website, that night I found and listened to an hour long interview of Betty and her words resonated in my head. I decided that I would focus my studies towards the issue of gender inequality.

Betty is NOT afraid to say openly that she wants to empower young girls by freeing them from abuse and affording them the same opportunities in life as boys. For too long have the women of the world been oppressed – our anger must be turned into action. That is precisely what I plan to do. I hope you have enjoyed my Zine and have learned a thing or two……but most of all I hope that you feel inspired to take what you have learned and turn it into action, using whatever skills you may have to seek justice for Zimbabwe’s girls and the girl children of the world

Liz Hammond