As South African women face adversity, heartbreak, injustice and inequality on a daily basis, local not-for-profit organisation The Love Trust is empowering women through its teacher training centres across the country.

Even though the population of women in South Africa outnumbers the number of men, South African women earn 23% – 35% less than their male counterparts and are more likely to be victims of gender-based violence.

Striving for a better future for all women

The women of South Africa are now fighting for a brighter future, not only for themselves but for all South African women. One such woman is Lizzy Moyo who is responsible for the administration of student-teacher training at The Love Trust.

Moyo’s role is to replicate the administration footprint for The Love Trust’s teacher training centre in Thembisa, east of Johannesburg to other training centres across the country to ensure the programmes run effectively and are sustainable. This also involves handling the student accounts, fees and writing reports that provide feedback on how funds are going to help fulfill the mission of The Love Trust.

“When Moyo first applied for the position, the one thing that truly stood out for her about the position was the phrase ‘empowering women’ in the job description and that’s exactly what she wanted to do and has been doing ever since! Currently, there are five training centres with more in the pipeline,” The Love Trust said.

As a liaison between the students, teachers and the training centres, Moyo built unique relationships with the teachers. The NPO says that Moyo has found joy and purpose through her work, not only because of what the teacher training programme means for the improved quality of education of learners in poor communities, but for the difference it means in the lives of the teachers.

Empowering women through education

Certified early childhood development (ECD) teachers now have the confidence and knowledge, for example, to advance their studies, open their own pre-schools, apply for higher positions and grow their financial wealth and independence. One such benefactor and graduate of the teacher training programme is Ntombifuthi Lungile Shabalala.

“Shabalala always enjoyed caring for children even from the age of 12 when she was placed in charge of looking after the little ones in her family. So, becoming a teacher at a pre-school came naturally to her and when she was told of the opportunity to become a certified ECD teacher, she immediately applied.

“Shabalala now has a better understanding of the importance of early childhood development and has the skills to stimulate and better care for children. She now has great confidence in her capabilities and it has fostered a hunger to learn even more,” The Love Trust said.

Growing up in stark poverty, good life choices are harder to come by and sometimes even harder to make. Shabalala had made some bad choices earlier in her life and did her time in prison to atone for them.

According to the NPO, this would have broken the spirit of many people, but not Shabalala, who has “learnt to love herself, forgive herself, treat others with respect and bear no one any ill will”.

Moyo hopes that “people realise what this means for the world, for the future, for everyone in general, and that those with funds can realise how much of an impact they can make”. Moyo concludes: “I’m not a teacher but I believe I’m also making a great contribution to the future of tomorrow, in the little things that I do and what I do to be part of this big project.”

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