3. “‘You have so much to offer to the world”: Celebrating International Day of the Girl Child

“‘You have so much to offer to the world”: Celebrating International Day of the Girl Child

UK 2022.10.11

Ashinaga is committed to the support of female education in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Today, we join others in celebrating International Day of the Girl Child.

Ashinaga recruits AAI Scholars on the basis of their Kokorozashi: their dream for creating positive change, planned out to benefit a specific area or group of people. Many Scholars focus on the challenges that girls face, be it child-marriage, adolescent pregnancy, or barriers to continuing education.

Tlalane, an Ashinaga Africa Initiative (AAI) Scholar at the University of Edinburgh, is passionate about improving support for female victims of sexual assault in Lesotho, many of whom are still girls.

Over the past four years, Tlalane has interned with organisations focused on defending and supporting victims of gender-based-violence and sexual assault: TEARS Foundation (South Africa) and Women and Law in Southern Africa (Lesotho). This is also the focus of Tlalane’s Ashinaga Proposal, which explores effective means of providing support to, and advocating for, victims of sexual assault in Lesotho.

This tireless work resulted in Tlalane being awarded the Sir William Darling Memorial Prize for her dedication and work in assisting with the development of Africa. This prestigious award is given to an individual or group of students that have done the most to enhance the reputation of the University and was received by four Edinburgh students this year, out of over 45,000.

Upon receiving the award, Tlalane said:

“An achievement of this sort is not necessarily an achievement just for me, but it’s an achievement for everybody that looks like me and is from the same background as me.

I’m grateful to the University of Edinburgh, because the lecturers that have been teaching me; my flatmates; my classmates, have made me feel welcome. But more so I’m grateful to the two scholarships that made it very much possible for me to be here: that is the MasterCard Foundation scholar, as well as the Ashinaga Africa Initiative.

…And I ask you today to look at me: a girl from a small country in Africa that is barely recognised by anyone, standing in such a prestigious institution, with such prestigious people, receiving such a prestigious prize to say to you, ‘you have so much to offer to the world. Your background, what you look like, or even your gender, is not really definitive of what you can offer. Your goals, and passion, is what you have. Use that to contribute because this world is in desperate need of everyone who has a contribution.”

After graduation, Tlalane is planning to specialise in Human Rights Law, with a focus on defending and promoting women and girls’ rights. Tlalane says that “Ashinaga has been a significant building block for me to achieve my dreams, and I believe there is no better way for me to show my gratitude than to pay it forward in the manner above. I am grateful to the Ashinaga Africa Initiative and its donors for supporting me in achieving my kokorazashi.”

Ashinaga donors are important members of a global movement helping to reduce poverty and enable young people to reach their full potential. To support others like Tlalane, please consider giving a one-off donation, or making an even bigger impact by becoming a monthly donor. By giving monthly, you provide stability for orphaned youth and help talented young people such as Tlalane realise their dreams to help others.



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