SU Algoa Girl’s Camp Story

Written by Natasha Prince

Since October 2016, we have been running annual camps for teenage girls from less privileged backgrounds in Port Elizabeth. The motivation has been to give them an equal chance – to a small degree, to experience what their peers in much better economic circumstances are accustomed to.

These camps happen in 4th term of each year and go by unique themes like Princess Diaries, Beautiful inside out and others.

These girls in spite of their young ages, have gone through rough life. Many of them are being raised by their grandparents. Some live in abusive environments and have been victims, while others at their tender age, are heads of their “homes”. The realities of adversity are all around them, impacting their world view. They are constantly faced with daily challenges that push them to despair and hopelessness.

For this reason, Scripture Union steps in to, in a small way bring back hope to these deserving princesses. The camps are meticulously planned to give the girls an experience they have never had before. The leaders go out of their way and with the help of some sponsors ensure the girls have a blast.

  • PJ’s party and pampering sessions
  • Make up sessions with kits to take home
  • Dress up banquette dinner
  • Washing the girls’ feet and more.

Life skills lessons form an integral part of the program. Topics like self-esteem, Values, and Decision Making/Choices are instilled in an experiential learning style. Over the years we have invited key influential guests like Dr Pinkie Ncula and Candice Arnolds (a former head girl from Booysens Park High who went through our programmes), to talk to the girls about important life decisions.

We have seen a significant transformation in many of these girls as they go back into their communities. They become bold and start standing for themselves – not letting their home situations and community environments dictate their worldview. Some become leaders in schools. We walk a journey (mentorship) with some who have gone through traumatic experiences like abuse, and we see the amazing impact. HOPE becomes alive in these young ladies again!

We are barely scratching the surface. Our desire is to put many more needy girls into this mentorship program. It is effective and is transforming lives. Will you join us?

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