Sibongile Mtungwa

I am a middle aged woman from the rural areas of Creighton, KwaZulu Natal. I have three birthdates of three different years, which reflects the crisis of the time, related to the imposed system of Apartheid. My background is in community facilitation and mobilisation based on Paulo Freire Philosophy of Action Reflection since I was 20 years old. That led me to study a Diploma in Development Education, and I obtained a Degree in Development Studies at age 33. I work for Women’s Leadership and Training Programme focusing on girls and young women (8-35) on the seven themes: Leadership and Lifeskills, Gender, Women’s Health, Economic Literacy, Environment, Culture and Heritage, and Ethics and Morality.

 Gender and Women’s Health are the two modules that have shaken me to take individual and collective action that brought about my activism. The issue of abduction is personal and societal as it affects other girls leading to HIV/AIDS, making girls exposed to rape and having no say in their sexual reproductive rights while having limited access to health care. In my activism work I became aware of the psychological trauma that abducted girls and women have to live with for the rest of their lives if they are not supported. This level of awareness needs to be put into action, by conscientising other stakeholders.

I am currently doing an online Master’s course in International Development, looking at partnerships and sustainable ways of advancing (especially) girls’ health, education and identity as part of their human rights.