Throughout a normal week in the Hwange District of Zimbabwe, 25 girls between the ages of 6 to 18 years visit GCN’s Hwange Empowerment Village. The Village provides a temporary shelter for girls rescued from rape and child abuse as well as a center for education and counseling and a place where girls can go after school. In these centers, the girls are fed, they receive basic health care and sanitary napkins, their uniforms are washed and they have a place to do their homework for school.
According to GCN staff, indicators of empowerment for these girls includes the ability to express themselves through poem writing and drama classes for self-esteem development as well as the ability to express their needs to their teachers and parents.
Empowerment Village staff recently held a Sports Day at the Village that included netball, three-legged races and egg tosses as a way for the girls to play and have some fun. They hope to use such techniques to build confidence for these girls, many of whom, have low self-esteem. All the girls come from poor backgrounds, and unfortunately many are now the head of their household, responsible for younger siblings, because they have lost their parents to AIDS.