First and foremost I would like to thank all the organizers and mentors of the camp for the wonderful opportunity they gave us, I did not know what to expect at the camp, but I went there with an open mind and had a great time. I come from a very small town and I have lived here all my life, I had not seen much of the world and it is one of my aspirations to travel the world and meet new people and the youth camp gave me a glimpse of new exciting places like Hermanus and the beautiful ocean where we went and I even went into the waves! Which was a first for me.
I must admit it was scary at first arrival, seeing all those different ladies from different schools and their unique personalities, I was afraid to approach them as I don’t open up to people easily and I am an introvert, but I don’t apologize for this because that is what makes me who I am and that is one of the greatest lessons I learned at the camp, to be my authentic self.
The camp made me aware of my attributes as a human being and especially a young woman. I know that stereotypes based on gender are at the order of the day and women are often the ones under scrutiny, I personally have experienced this all my life and I constantly had to apologize for the way I talked, the way I dressed and the way I carried myself and I was reprimanded for this, so it made me think I was a lesser person, but the camp taught me that as a strong and independent women I as well as other women deserve to be commended for our abilities, talents and our unique qualities.
We also learned a lot about teenage pregnancy and the dangers of unsafe sex. I realized that I was not very well informed on HIV and AIDS and I learned so much that I was able to come back to our school and talk to the young girls at our school and inform them. We are a poverty stricken town and it is very difficult for the youth to complete their education and study further or to find suitable jobs, because of the socio-economic issues. It was even difficult for me to get to this level because of the lack of support at our schools and the insufficient resources, but I worked extremely hard and I am proud to say that I was selected as an eligible candidate for the Stellenbosch bursary programme for 2020, and
I intend to work even harder to pursue my studies in political science next year. The camp taught us the importance of self-esteem and how important it is to be confident in your abilities and values.
So, again thank you to the camp organizers and the wonderful experience.