Thope’s mission is “to contribute to an African society where women and girls have equal access to quality socio-economic opportunities to be healthy and productive citizens.” Positive female role models serve as mentors, supporting girls who face challenges at school and in their communities. Examples of these challenges, which contribute to increasing rates of school drop out, include high levels of unemployment, poverty, violence, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and TB, and teenage pregnancy.
In 2014, CHOSA supported Thope with a small initial grant of R5000 ($500). The grant money was used toward exposing girls to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) opportunities. Some of the girls were able to participate in a three-day robotics workshop. Girls learned to build lego robots, tried their hands at computer programming and met with female mechatronics graduates who facilitated the session. Program Director, Rethabile, also led a life-skills worship for children at some of CHOSA’s partner projects, including Abaphumeleli Place of Safety, QQ Section Youth, and Bathandwa Children’s Home.
Last year, CHOSA began supporting Thope with a monthly grant, enabling them to continue and expand their unique programming for young girls. Supporters can keep up with the Thope Foundation’s work at http://www.thopefoundation.org.