Championing healthy relationships

and sexual wellbeing

Beaded Anklet Project in South Africa

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will, don’t quit” is what the poem tells us, and working with the girls in the Beaded Anklet Project has brought up some very difficult challenges, but we’re delighted neither the team nor the girls have quit!

Our partner, Crossroads, runs this peer education project in Ndwedwe, where there is a huge ‘sugar daddy’ problem.

When the project started, some sugar daddies felt very threatened that their shameful exploitation of these girls might be publicly exposed and so, as bullies often do, they resorted to threats. Death threats to both the girls and the staff leading the project. Obviously, these threats were taken very seriously and so the team is now running the project in the local schools, so that the men are unaware of the programme continuing.

Sadly, the region was hit by severe flooding and many people lost their lives. Houses and many roads were destroyed and it made it very difficult to hold meetings. After the flood waters had subsided, the team has run a health and hygiene programme and the youngsters were thrilled to receive hygiene kits and toiletries. It’s hard to imagine not being able to attend school for lack of period products, but that’s what happens each month for many of the girls.

The micro loans project continues to flourish as those who show aptitude receive 6 chicks, a solar heat lamp, food and bedding and can then grow the chicks up to sell as food and/or to keep to lay eggs to eat or sell on. We are excited to see their new ventures flourish.