BraveGirl is a girl empowerment movement based in Mbabane, eSwatini, and a Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA initiative. BraveGirl aims to promote gender equality by hosting an annual five-day residential camp for girls in Form 4 and 5 (i.e. 16 to 18 year-olds) from the Mbabane area.
In 2017 it was nominated for Aurora Humanitarian Project Award and was awarded $4000 to fully implement the project.
What we do
The camp aims to provide the girls with a safe-space to discuss issues young women in eSwatini and around the world are facing, away from any social pressures they might feel in their communities. Through this, the camp promotes confidence building, personal growth and team spirit, and encourages the participants to take a stand on and promote women empowerment in their communities. This is achieved through numerous workshops and activities held throughout the week, such as storytelling, mental health education, fashion shows and karaoke nights.
One of the most integral parts of the camp is the job shadowing– a day on which the girls have the opportunity to visit an organisation which suits their career aspirations, and have the chance to experience what working in that field may look like. This part of the BraveGirl curriculum was designed to give the girls a better idea of the intricacies of the professions they are considering and motivate them to work hard and pursue their dreams.
Throughout the camp we are putting a large focus on reflection and mindfulness. The girls are assigned groups in which they reflect upon what happened throughout the day, their feelings, learnings and feedback regarding the program and the contents of workshops and activities.
BraveGirl camp was conceptualised in 2017 by three senior students at Waterford Kamhlaba, Anna Chiara Corriero, Ella Pang and Ike Njoroge, as an educational initiative to empower teenage girls in the Mbabane area in eSwatini. It was also an Aurora Humanitarian project initiative, and granted $4000 by an anonymous donor.
In August of the same year, the first BraveGirl Camp was held on the Waterford Campus, bringing together 50 girls from 5 schools around town to participate in a week filled with workshops and activities centred around themes such as physical and mental health, self-expression, careers and women in the Swazi society. In 2018, 55 girls from 10 schools around Mbabane are participating.
Voices from the girls
Here’s some things former participants have said about their experience at the camp:
“It showed me things that were happening around me that I didn’t see, or didn’t want to see, or admit were there before. It also let me see myself in a different light. So many people feel like ‘Oh, you’re just a girl, going to school and then you’re done, trying to get into varsity, get a job or whatever’, but as far as I change and the world goes, I feel like I can make an impact. I never thought of myself as someone who can actually do something useful in the world, but I feel like that is what BraveGirl did to me, it basically gave me a pair of really cool sunglasses, which let me see the world in such good colours.”
Every year we put together a report about what BraveGirl as a team and as a movement has achieved. Below you can find links to download them.