Guest speaker, Amore Coertzen sharing her keynote address for the audience
A time to celebrate “Imbokodo” is finally here. The month of August is a time to honour and commemorate the 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 March 1956 against the extension of apartheid’s Pass Laws to women.
As August is Women’s month, the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) is embarked on a mission to empower students to know their strengths when it comes to the social issues of life.
The Institutional HIV/AIDS Unit, in collaboration with other Student Support Services departments, Centre for Academic Development department, Library and the SRC, therefore held a young women’s empowerment seminar on Tuesday, 6 August 2019 at the Desmond Tutu Great Hall under the theme: “Know Your Strength”.
The programme is designed to create awareness around HIV and AIDS, Alcohol and Substance Abuse as well as Gender-Based Violence, to educate students about services that are available to them should they encounter any such issues.
The event was held in collaboration with external stakeholders, such as the Department of Health (DOH), the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA), the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), the Thuthuzela Care Centre, the Delta Christian Centre and Nedbank.
Students gathered at the amphitheatre and peacefully marched to the hall. The programme was Officiated by Emeka Mba, the motivational speaker. Other speakers were invited to talk about various subjects that affect women in societies, such as knowing your HIV status, financial empowerment, spiritual wellness; cervical and breast cancer; reproductive health and Gender-Based Violence. There was also entertainment by the MOL and creative arts cultural group.
Ms Esmerie Guglielmi, a VUT staff member, shared her testimonial on the emotional and physical abuse that she went through. She encouraged the audience not to stand any form of abuse in any kind of relationship.
Guest speaker, Amore Coertzen said: “You may never know your strength until you believe that God will never leave you.” She further added that a woman was never made to compete with a man and that women need to complement men while men should strengthen women.
Students interacted with the speakers by asking questions and commenting on what had been said.