Author: Seed Community

SEED Community: GirlZTalk

Our journey into the rural heartland of Limpopo, South Africa continues to resonate in our organization. During the past few months we have continued to make new connections with girls across South Africa, sharing our stories, the issues faced and ways to overcome them. Together with EV1 we have launched a GirlZtalk feature on the social media network Mxit.  Through their beSmart platform, GirlZTalk is an information and exchange platform for teenage girls around the world. Each week we are able to connect with girls across South Africa via mobile phone, discussing issues that matter and enabling them to take part in the conversation. Our aim is simple. We want every girl and young woman in South Africa to have a safe space where they can break the silence. Girls in South Africa should be free to be themselves without fear of judgement. Our work reveals that the statistics yield a very honest and stark reality. The untold story, the silence and scorn passed on from one generation to the next has produced fertile ground for violation and ignorance to continue to flourish. It …

In the field with SEED Community

This is the last in a series of posts written by the SEED community chronicling their journey into the rural heartland of Limpopo, South Africa with 25 girls who are a part of the SEED program. The trip was a part of the urban/rural exchange filmed to capture the voice of young women of South Africa. The journey was documented through journal entries by SEED staff which have been published on Girls’ Globe over the past 5 weeks. Day 8 We start early, as this afternoon the girls will be putting on their show. They get straight into their groups and continue to practice their performances. Our girls are nervous as they still feel a resistance from a number of the girls. As 3 o’ clock draws near, the excitement of the performance seems to stir, even in the quietest of the girls. The groups come together and one by one give expression to the themes they have chosen. One girl stands to read her poem, her voice gaining force as the words resound throughout the room. She throws her paper aside …

In the field with SEED community

This is the fourth in a series of posts written by the SEED community chronicling their journey into the rural heartland of Limpopo, South Africa with 25 girls who are a part of the SEED program. The trip was a part of the urban/rural exchange filmed to capture the voice of young women of South Africa. The journey was documented through journal entries by SEED staff and each week Girls’ Globe is publishing a new entry.  Day 6: We all arrive at 8am and by 8:30 we have about 85 girls registered. There are girls from 3 villages all with a good grasp of English. Our girls are excited as they feel this is going to make it much easier to connect and have a meaningful 3 days. We start with ice-breakers and the game, ‘have you ever?’. They leave the more innocent questions behind and go straight to ‘Have you ever been to a tavern?’ and ‘Have you ever kissed a girl?’. As half the girls rise, we are surprised by their apparent openness. By mid-morning the issues are being raised …

In the Field with the SEED Community

This is the third in a series of posts written by the SEED community chronicling their journey into the rural heartland of Limpopo, South Africa with 25 girls who are a part of the SEED program. The trip was a part of the urban/rural exchange filmed to capture the voice of young women of South Africa. The journey was documented through journal entries by SEED staff and each Friday for 5 weeks Girls’ Globe is publishing a new entry.  Day 5 Show time! Amidst the ululating of the community we find ourselves prostrate on the floor in honour to the chief. The performances are extraordinary. Song and dance are a platform for African women to share her voice. Their power captivates and intoxicates one’s senses. Dressed in traditional venda dress, their feet pound the earth, their voices carrying the melody of the untold stories that lie within. The issues of teenage pregnancies, rape, education and substance abuse are brought to life through short plays, poems and songs created and performed by each group. They do not hold back giving a raw portrayal …

In the Field with the SEED Community

This is the second in  a series of posts written by the SEED community chronicling their journey into the rural heartland of Limpopo, South Africa with 25 girls who are a part of the SEED program. The trip was a part of the urban/rural exchange filmed to capture the voice of young women of South Africa. The journey was documented through journal entries by SEED staff and each Friday for 5 weeks Girls’ Globe will publish a new entry. Read the first post in the series here. Day  3: The heavens have opened! The rain is torrential, another blessing in the eyes of the Venda people. We are not so sure and arrive at the hall with the uncertainty of who will come back today. Slowly as the rain dissipates, the hall fills once more, the girls are chatty and eager to begin. Song fills the room, girls break into traditional dance, the atmosphere is electric. Music is their redemption and takes on a power that touches the soul. As the group discussions get under way, the local girls seem to …

What does it mean to be a girl growing up in South Africa today?

This week begins a series of posts written by the SEED community chronicling their journey into the rural heartland of Limpopo, South Africa with 25 girls who are a part of the SEED program. The trip was a part of the urban/rural exchange filmed to capture the voice of young women of South Africa. The journey was documented through journal entries by SEED staff and each Friday for the next 8 weeks will Girls’ Globe will publish a new entry.  Day 1: Saturday morning 7:30 am and the inner city of Johannesburg seems to exhale. There is a calm and certain grace the streets behold as if some time long ago, she was destined for a brighter future. We are quiet until we see the vans, the girls arriving, greeting each other with open arms. Anticipation turns to excitement. The vans are decorated, packed to the brim, and everyone gathers for a prayer and so the GirlZtalk bus tour officially begins.  We are 20 SEED girls, 5 facilitators and 3 film crew. We will be spending the …

Girls Talk: A Documentary Film

As The International Day of the Girl approaches and the international community shifts attention to the unique challenges faced by girls around the world, The SEED Community asks: What does it mean to be a girl growing up in South Africa today? Answers are offered through a documentary film that will follow the SEED girls on an intimate road trip into the rural heartland of Limpopo. It will capture the distinct voices of girls, both urban and rural, as they navigate the realities of their daily lives and share the hopes they have for the future. The film will put faces to the overwhelming statistics that threaten to suffocate the voices of girls in every community of our country. Over two weeks, the SEED girls will engage with girls from 3 communities in a local to local exchange of knowledge and ideas, raising the issues girls face from an individual and communal perspective. The problems of teenage pregnancies, exposure to violence and the stigma of sexuality will be explored through dialogue, theatre, song, poetry and dance. Through …

This Is Me: Precious Matshaba

SEED Community is largely about human connection. Everyone who participates in our community whether they be a Seed loan recipient, a mentor, a speaker or an accountant plays a vital role in our growth, development and success. Our community is woven from stories of beauty, sorrow and courage, all of which are poignant reflections of the society in which we live. We would like to feature Precious’ story. Precious has been a SEED loan recipient in South Africa since 2012, and here she writes about her youth, her thoughts, and hopes for the future. She is a true inspiration to us all. My mom heard about the institute where I am studying on the radio and told me that I should go and see what they have to offer. I wanted to study for this degree because I want to become a social entrepreneur because they solve problems and create solutions that profit the world. I also want to be a world renowned figure who assists women in self development and contributes to the upliftment …

SEED Community works to empower girls in South Africa

The SEED Community was founded in 2011 to provide higher educational opportunities for girls and women from challenging economic backgrounds in developing countries through affordable loan programmes. At SEED, our objective is to create the opportunity for girls to take the future into their own hands and at the same time plant the seeds for somebody else’s future and growth. We are working in South Africa with girls at the grass roots level offering interest free, higher education loans and work opportunities through our SEED School Mentoring Programme. Our community support structure provides a framework for girls to complete their studies, repay their loans, and be independent, active contributors to society. We do not view the funding for the girls’ education in isolation, but rather as part of a broader social context.
 However bright, capable and motivated the girls are, many face social and economic difficulties preventing them from entering and/or completing their higher education for a variety of reasons, including the following: Every 27 seconds a girl in South Africa is raped. More than …