The Girls for Girls (G4G) mentoring programme was introduced to South Africa in April 2019 in order to provide an opportunity to young women and girls to take up leadership positions within their communities, schools, universities and workplaces. We deliberately opted to pilot the mentoring program at one institution – the University of Johannesburg – to establish the interest and uptake amongst young South African women. Fifty-nine (59) Mentees attended that first cohort, supported by 32 Mentors, that showed resounding interest in the program.
G4G South Africa was registered as a Not-for-Profit Company (NPC) Company Number: 2019/392994/08 in February 2020, when we also opened an organizational bank account and appointed accountants to support financial accountability for any funds raised for the organization. Later in the year we also registered as a Non-Profit Organization (NPO) with the Department of Social Development, and obtained Income Tax Exemption (section 18A) status from the South Africa Revenue Services (SARS) in November 2020.
In 2020 the G4G South Africa program grew from 59 mentees to 209 mentees that joined under the following cohorts: the Asnath Mahapa Foundation (STEM High School cohort), the Diaspora cohort (University and High School mentees from 10 countries), the Trever Huddleston Memorial Centre Westbury High School students, the University of Johannesburg, and the University of Pretoria. In 2020, 71 Mentors actively supported the mentoring at these 5 cohorts. Notable in 2020 was the inclusion of the younger age groups in the form of the High School Mentees, and the establishment of our Alumni network that is led by former Mentees with a membership of 216 Mentees.
In 2021 G4G South Africa increased participation to 316 Mentees and 101 active Mentors, who were part of 10 cohorts. Four cohorts carried forward from 2020, and these were: the Diaspora cohort, the Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre, the University of Johannesburg, and the University of Pretoria. We then added 6 new cohorts: Athlone Girls High School, Mamelodi cohort, Multi-University cohort (including mentees from Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe), the Rivers Foundation cohort, the Tertiary cohort and the Young Professionals cohort. For the first time G4G South Africa had a cohort that covered young professional women.
As of December 2021, G4G South Africa has 359 trained Mentors whom we hope to help grow our reach in 2022 – we have 11 active leads that we expect to reach maturity in 2022. These include strategic organizations that shall give us access to wider mentee groups such as the Gauteng Department of Basic Education and The Institute of People Management (IPM), a professional membership body that represents Human Resources Management. To date we have graduated 394 Mentees (those that attended at least 4 sessions) out of 584 mentees that have ever attended at least one session.
G4G South Africa developed and adopted a 5-year Strategy in July 2021 in which we are aiming to reach 100,000 Mentees by 2025, with the support of 3,500 Mentors. To enable its delivery, we have established an operational structure that comprises 5 Committees: Mentor and Mentee recruitments; Fundraising; Communications and marketing; Training; and Monitoring and Evaluation. G4G South Africa has a robust M&E plan and system that produces Quarterly Monitoring reports and Annual Evaluation and Program reports to help us keep track of our progress against our organizational targets. We expanded our Board of Directors to ten (10) to spread responsibilities and also have greater involvement of younger women at the leadership level
Words From A Member
In our sisterhood we love each other.
In our sisterhood we care about each other.
In our sisterhood we encourage each other to be the best version of ourselves.
In our sisterhood we see and acknowledge one another’s existence.
Which is why it is a gift from me to you and from you to me.
It’s not by blood that we are related but we are by heart.
Maya Angelou said “I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and Brotherhood are conditions people must work at.” It is indeed lovely to know that I do not have to go through life’s hurdles on my own for my sisters are with me. Through rain and through sunshine, through the good times and bad times, for all the bitter and sweet moments I know my sisters are with me.