Corporate Social Investment

IDC takes Take a Girl Child to Work Day a whole lot further

Malamba Nemavhadwe with her mentor Josephine GaveniSixteen-year-old Malamba Nemavhadwe, from Tshivhase Secondary School in Venda, with her mentor Josephine Gaveni, the IDC's divisional executive for human capital (CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)May 2015

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) hosted 42 grade 11 learners from 20 schools across the country on Thursday, 28 May as part of the Cell C-sponsored "Take a Girl Child to Work Day" initiative.

Under the theme "Dream, Believe, Achieve", Take a Girl Child to Work Day targets girl learners in grades 10 to 12, encouraging both the public and private sector to give girl children the opportunity to experience first-hand the "world of work" and the various career opportunities open to them.

Not only did the IDC expose the learners to the work environment, it took the initiative a big step further by placing all 42 of them on an 18-month mentorship programme to support them in pursuing and achieving their dreams.

The learners were chosen from the IDC's 20 adopted schools in under-privileged rural and urban areas across the country.

Guided tour with 40 staff mentors

IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena with Malamba Nemavhadwe'One day you could be CEO' - IDC Chief Executive Geoffrey Qhena swaps places with Malamba Nemavhadwe (CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)On Thursday, they were taken on a guided tour of the IDC headquarters in Sandton by 40 female IDC staff members who will be mentoring them over the next 18 months, ensuring that the value of Take a Girl Child to Work Day stretches well beyond 28 May.

IDC Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Qhena described the experience as "humbling and touching".

"Seeing so many young girls given an opportunity to have somebody that is going to guide and assist them is a good step as a means of the IDC contributing to building South Africa. I hope the exposure they will be receiving from their different mentors will propel them further in their academic journeys.

"It is important for the IDC to be part of this type of initiative, because corporates need to play a role in our society," Qhena said. "The best way of doing so is to expose young children to the real world so that they can understand what is happening out there."

'My experience has been awesome and fun'

IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena with Malamba NemavhadweCEO Geoffrey Qhena gives Malamba Nemavhadwe a diary from one of his international conferences as a keepsake (CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)Sixteen-year-old Beauty Shalton Phalula from Tshivhase Secondary School in Venda is an aspiring media presenter who is passionate about public speaking - and clearly excited at the prospect of being mentored by Khensani Mageza, Stakeholder Relations Officer at the IDC.

"My experience has been awesome and fun," she said afterwards. "I learned so much from Ms Mageza already and I am excited about the next 18 months. I learned that we as learners should not be one-minded and understand there are several career opportunities ahead of us.

"We do not all have to be teachers, we can be anything we want to be. Anything is possible. I prefer media, because I dream of one day being in front of cameras. I love speaking and I like being around people."

The grade 11 learner said Take a Girl Child to Work Day was important "because it exposes us to different work environments we did not know about and teaches us about bursaries and scholarships.

"I know, with these mentors, all of the pupils involved will be able to reach their dreams. I am thankful to the IDC because not everyone can get this opportunity. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us, and I intend on grabbing it with both hands."

This year marked the 13th anniversary of Take a Girl Child to Work Day, which has grown to become one of the country's biggest collaborative acts of volunteerism.

"I think this is a great initiative by Cell C, and more corporates should embrace it," Chief Executive Qhena said.

"It is an experience that is touching, because some of these girls have never even been out of their province. Just coming to the IDC and being in Sandton is something they value. I feel good knowing that we, indeed, are doing the right thing."



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