Young girls given a free and safe platform

Another mentor showing one of the girls how to use the PC.

Choma Dream Café was launched at St Joseph Ithuteng (old age home) with the purpose of creating a safe and free space for girls between the ages of 10 -24 years old.

According to Choma Dream Café promoter Tsholofelo Mokhale the café is set to give girls a free space to socialise online in order to distract their focus from boys.

“The café will offer internet access that does not use electricity. Not only will the girls have internet access they will also be groomed by the mentors,” she said.

This is the third Choma Dream Café being launched in Meadowlands and there are several others in Soweto.

A glimpse of some of the people that attended the launch.

Mokhale said that parents should allow their children to visit the café; a register will be signed in order to verify if the child did indeed visit the café.

“Allow the child to enjoy the free space given to them.”

According to the dreams mentor and social auxiliary worker at Ithuteng Pretty Molokwane, the café was brought upon by the dream programme which stands for determination, resilience, empowerment, AIDS-free generation, mentorship and safety.

“It is a behaviour change life skill programme which deals with young girls and it is an HIV prevention programme,” she said.

Molokwane said that trough their intervention they have 16 sessions, where they talk about social issues affecting young girls and programmes that teach them to be independent as young girls.

Pretty Molokwane, Mpumi Ndimande, Ntombi.

According to Molokwane, the café will operate from Monday to Thursday.

On Monday they will attend girls between the ages 10 – 12, on Tuesday they will attend to girls between the ages 13 – 15, on Wednesday they will attend to girls between the ages 16 – 18 and on Thursday they will attend to girls between the ages 19 – 24.

“We chose to separate them because of experience. On different days we will discuss different topics that will cater to a certain age group.

A glimpse of the Choma Dreams Cafe interior.

“In order to ensure that the parents about their children’s safety we will collect the parent’s contact details and conduct home visits.

“Parents can google Choma and they can come at the café to look at the register in order to verify that their children did attend,” she said.

The café was sponsored by DREAMS, PEPFAR, HIV/SA, JSI and the Charlize Theron outreach programme.

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Mxolisi Simanga

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