We’ve been busy.
There has been a firestorm of activity happening at our office in Khayelitsha, South Africa. From forming new partnerships to community building with other social impact organizations and networking with some of our old friends, BGSA has been at the forefront of advocacy and action around eliminating violence to girls and women.
The last week of November marks a very special occasion for those of us concerned and active in the fight against gender-based violence. Between 25 November and 10 December women’s rights activists, advocates and politicians unite in honor of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence or, as it’s become known on social media, #16Days.
The 16 Days of Activism is an international call to action sponsored by the United Nations to highlight the the hard work that is being done around the world to end gender-based violence.
On Saturday, November 26th, 100 Boxgirls from 8 different primary schools in Khayelitsha came together with Grassroots Soccer and Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) to honor the beginning of the #16Days advocacy campaign by getting active together. BGSA showed it’s support for the moment of international solidarity by throwing a free community event and graduation celebration for our Boxgirls, their families and the entire neighborhood!
Our Boxgirls and Boxgirls Alumni showcased their talents through song and dance before breaking out into smaller teams to take on the boys from Grassroots Soccer in different games and sports stations around the event. The partnership between the three organizations is a joint effort to bring more community-based solutions to the violence, poverty and education issues in the township.
Community members contributed to the festive atmosphere by bringing local produce, food and music to celebrate the day of sports for young people and children. The #16Days event also served as a safe space for the girls to get active and to just be kids. As one of the most dangerous townships in Cape Town, Khayelitsha is limited in the number of public events that girls get to fully experience as relatively free of the threat of violence.
Boxgirls is dedicated to providing much-needed safe spaces and advocating for the right of girls everywhere to grow up and flourish in violence-free neighborhoods. This isn’t the first event that we’ve thrown with the community and it, certainly, won’t be our last! Sign up for our newsletter at www.boxgirls.org/home to stay up to date on how we’re reinventing sport, education and safety for girls in South Africa.