Change The World Educate Girls
It all began rather simply. I was scheduled to speak to a group of teenage girls in a Kenyan high school. The hot air barely stirred as I took up the microphone. I did not know it then, but my life would never be the same for I found my destiny. That day, I gained God’s heart and perspective for African girls. While I was speaking to a group of 400 girls, God prompted me to ask them if they felt that the girls had as much value as boys. Only two girls raised their hands. Unsatisfied with this response, I shared God’s truth with them about their value and worth. Afterwards, God asked me to do something more tangible to comfort these girls and to teach them their value and importance to Him. He asked me to leave my home and profession and go to Africa.
On July 17, I set foot in South Africa and began my journey of learning about the needs and challenges facing young girls of this country. Teachers of the Nations began in 2012 with a directed goal of enabling and empowering young girls spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally for success in life. At present, we meet weekly for discipleship and training in the arts. The girls also receive training in piano, drums, drama, as well as dance. We have added an afternoon program for both girls and boys in Riverview. We have twenty-five students attending, and the numbers grow weekly. For two years, we offered afterschool tutorials at Avian Park Primary. We provided math, English, soccer and musical recorder classes free of charge. We offered tutoring so that the students can improve their academic progress, with over 60-75 students attending.
In addition, the ministry assists the girls in practical ways such as providing clothes and shoes as well as school supplies to them and their family members.
Our Swan Song program is geared toward improving girls’ self-concept and self-esteem. Through biblical discipleship and affirming workshops, the girls learn about their place in Christ. We have teamed together with the Days 4 Girls and Dignity Campaign projects to provide our young women with hygiene kits. At present, the average South African female student misses 30 days of school because she cannot care for these needs. By partnering with these two organizations, we will be able to help more than 50 girls in this arena. Also, the Dignity Campaign provides opportunities for leadership training camps for these young women.
Our goal is to improve the community as well. For this reason, we have been involved in planting gardens, cleaning the school grounds in Avian Park where many of the girls reside, and providing needed tutorials. During the course of the term, I visit the schools that the girls attend, speak with their teachers and principals, and also visit their homes. Since some girls suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome and emotional distresses, we draw on the expertise of mental health professionals as well.
Our goal is to see every girl matriculate, so we are paying close attention to their scores and academic progress at present. We have also begun to attend university campuses and are preparing the girls for entry into tertiary educational sites. Eventually, our goal is to open a boarding school for girls where they can receive loving attention, a solid academic foundation, and a clear sense of their value and worth in God’s eyes. Our desire is that this school will be the first of many. Perhaps, you feel the same way and would like to join us in reaching Africa’s girls.
Listen to Dr Mella Davis interviewed on CWCP Radio February 22, 2018 and January 9, 2020.