Women empowerment

Building character through leadership

Building character
Breaking barriers
This August, the Outward Bound Trust of South Africa gears up for Women’s month with our fifth annual Women's Empowerment programme. 

As we celebrate the strength, courage, commitment and fortitude of our women, we remind ourselves of the obstacles they face daily. For so many , poverty does not just mean being hungry, lack of shelter or limited access to health care. It also means having their rights denied, employment and educational opportunities curtailed and their voices silenced. 

The core concept of empowerment lies in the ability for a woman to make her own choices,  direct her own destiny and be provided with the opportunities to do so. Our Women’s Empowerment Programme was initially developed to provide victims of abuse and domestic violence the opportunity to build their self-esteem, overcome their fears and grow their capacity as individuals. 

Candidates experienced teamwork and communication through outdoor adventure activities in a safe, neutral and controlled environment with female instructors as mentors and role models. The programme evolved into an empowerment initiative with the inclusion of decision making and problem solving objectives and subsequently expanded to include unemployed women and those participating in skills training initiatives. 

In reading the experience letters and reviewing the assessments of previous programmes, it is clear the impact is profound. Each of the women on this programme demonstrated remarkable courage, discovering new talents and capabilities that they were previously unaware of. They tackled obstacles with enthusiasm and a positive attitude and were tenacious in pursuit of finding solutions to the problems. 

"Being here gave me the opportunity to speak about concerns I have had in my life for a long time, things that I want to achieve, but have not been able to so far, but also to keep voicing my dreams and goals and not letting the challenges get me down. Communication has been my biggest lesson in this course", says Ncumisa, a woman who has attended the programme.

The programme coincides with Women’s Day on 9 August in which the ladies design posters which reinforce the qualities and characteristics of an empowered woman. They participate in an amazing race and receive pamper hampers as reward and recognition for their participation in the programme.

The initiative is sustained by developing strategic partnerships with a variety of non- profit organisations and women’s shelters throughout the Western Cape, who each aid to their own empowerment by contributing towards the course fee. The programme is further subsidised by generous contributions from our funding partners such as HCI Foundation and Murray & Roberts.

If you would like to support this initiative or require more information, please contact David Muir 079 492 6266 david@outwardbound.co.za or visit www.outwardbound.co.za

Lending a hand Building character and making friends Challenging themselves
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This edition

Issue 58