Nontobeko Zondi – Published 13 July 2020
Grade 7 to 11 high school learners who took part in the EEDC initiated Take A Girl Child to Work
Take a Girl Child to Work Day is an annual corporate social responsibility event, held in South Africa since 2003. Companies involved invite female learners usually from disadvantaged backgrounds, to spend the day at their place of work. To be part of this annual event, the Employment Equity and Diversity Committee (EEDC) initiated the Take a Girl Child to Work. The EEDC held its first event on Tuesday, 26 November 2019 at the Desmond Tutu Great Hall. The event hosted school pupils from grade 8 to 11 from different schools around the Vaal.
The goal of the initiative was to deepen the thinking of the girl child about their infinite roles in society, enhance their self-esteem, inspire and motivate them to reach their full potential. The programme for the day introduced and orientated the female learners to the campus environment, tour designated offices for the exposure of the working environment and, gain insight into the faculties and various courses offered. Staff members from the various departments availed themselves and welcomed the learners into their work environment.
The learners had an opportunity to visit the offices of the Vice Chancellor and Principal, Corporate Affairs, Finance, Human Resources, IT Services and the four faculties. They also visited the Chemistry and Microbiology Labs where they saw laboratory experiments being performed. This helped the learners build into the vision of actual careers in the real world.
Ms Wilmien Davis, a consulting ‘strength finder’ was the guest speaker. She encouraged the learners to believe that they can. She said that they have a purpose to fulfil in life and they need to do everything they like with passion. “You were made with a purpose … you need to find out who you are and start to believe ‘I CAN’,” she said.
Miss Khensani Chauke (17), a learner at Suiderlig High School, Vanderbijlpark, said that she and her friends had a very fulfilling experience as they were able to find interesting and informative facts about VUT.
Mr George Mvalo, Chair of EEDC and Director : Social Justice and Transformation Unit, said that out of the statistics from the Commission for Employment Equity /Department of Labour report, shows a very bleak and alarming picture that very limited opportunities were given to women in senior positions in industry, government and university sectors. This then prompted the committee to initiate the project of Take a Girl Child to Workday at the Vaal University of Technology.
Project Coordinator Ms Alisha Himchall said that the event went well above expectations and that the learners (some of whose parents are VUT staff) were intrinsically motivated to pursue their careers.