I spent last week in Cape Town doing Dignity Campaign training. The Dignity Campaign was started by Aukje Brouwer (also founder of Beautiful Gate) a few years ago. Aukje has a vision to train people to work with girls and women to help them find them identity, purpose and belonging in Christ and in community.
It was a fantastic week. The speakers were so inspiring and the content challenging and helpful. The group of women that came together for the training were also very inspiring. Hearing their stories and getting to know them was a real honour.
The week was full of so many good things and yet was truly heartbreaking at the same time. I know that girls and women have real challenges in many places around the world and Southern Africa is no exception. Hearing stories of rape and defilement, trafficking and abuse all the while knowing there is a general code of silence about these things in many cultures is heart wrenching. I am becoming increasingly aware of the challenges girls and women face. In the fabrics of many African cultures is a sense that girls and women are less than boys and men. This belief has implications into every area of life.
But one of the things that was truly the most impacting was hearing about what God can do, that he is bigger than the challenges and experiences people have. God can redeem the worse of stories, and he is doing just that in many women. It’s our hope that if girls and women can find their identity, purpose and belonging in Christ first and in a strong group of other girls and women, that God can do what sometimes looks to be impossible.
In addition to this there was lots of talk about menstrual management. I’ll save that for another time as I have lots to say(!) and perhaps that is a women’s only post 🙂
On a personal level, last week felt so timely. I felt I needed some time away and time to recharge and just be. The base where the training was is a five minute walk to the most beautiful beach so I had many walks in the mornings and evenings strolling the soft white sand beach. It was so good to have lots of time to process and pray. It was so refreshing. The week felt like a real gift for me personally.