During Women’s Week in August 2015, the SCORE staff organized a set of events to celebrate women in society and sports. Therefore, women and girls of all ages from different backgrounds met in the Franschhoek Valley Community Sports Centre for an afternoon tea and chat session, followed by a 30-minute performance of the Franschhoek Sound of Steel Band and a play of Franschhoek Youth Affair performing Arts.
The afternoon started with motivational words from Michelle Aalbers – Community Development Manager at Stellenbosch Municipality - “We are living with our head either in the past or the future, sometimes even in both causing us to forget to live in the moment. In living in the past or future we are trying to change things we have no control over. This happens because we do not value the moment we are in and the only thing we have control over is this very moment. When we forget to live in the NOW we miss out on opportunities that are presented because we do not realize the value thereof. The only thing that is real is this very moment NOW”.
To add to the value of NOW, Michelle shared a personal story to encourage the girls and women to be confident in themselves and shared the following words as a reminder of our responsibility to ourselves: “I chose to be fabulous and choose how I feel. I’m not waiting for the weather to determine whether I feel cold. Feeling beautiful has nothing to do with how other people tell me I look. The very last thing I am waiting for is a man to give me a compliment. If I had to wait for that, most of my days would have left me feeling down. My days are fabulous because I chose for it to be so. As long as I choose to, I will remain fabulous and awesome.”
Michelle’s words left a big impression on the girls and women so during the afternoon tea they used the time to socialize and chat with each other, to exchange experiences and words of affirmation. And by offering these get-togethers we can start the process of changing the lives of young females in the Franschhoek Community to raising strong, independent women.
Cayla-Monique (17 years old): “Michelle reminded me to set goals for myself and work on it NOW, it was also nice to hear that you do not need a man to make yourself feel beautiful. I also enjoyed having tea with other girls.”
Afterwards, the group enjoyed the passionate performance of the Franschhoek Sound of Steel band and some of the girls were very curious to learn how to play these instruments themselves. Supporting young females and women to engage with each other, share their experiences and to support each other is one tool of strengthening our community. The event during Women’s Week was a big success and we’ll definitely do it again.