Ahluma is a girl child that is in our Mbokodo Club Project. The Justice Desk's “Mbokodo Club” (The Rock Club) project focuses on offering leadership and empowerment workshops, mental health care and trauma counselling, as well as self-defence and fitness classes to girl survivors of rape and GBV from vulnerable communities.
We asked Ahluma to share her thoughts on what the future means to her. This is her response:
"The future is the life that you’ve wanted, the way you wanted to live your life. People have a bright future, but some of them have no future anymore because their time passed. The future is something that is planned, the time that is still coming. Something that is going to happen.
As a young girl, I believe that I have a bright future because I believe in myself, I have people that will guide me and I go to school.
Everyone wants a good future, a bright future, even old people want a bright future but some didn’t get to have one. It is because many decisions we make during school will have an influence on our lives as children. Choosing the right friends is also a good choice because there are friends that will judge instead of helping you they laugh at you, gossip about you. They will make you lose your confidence and stop believing in yourself. Some people don’t have a bright future today because of 'friends'. If you want to have a bright future you have to believe in yourself, work hard to prove your dream and fulfil your dreams. Don’t let friends pull you down. Believe in yourself, think about your future, go to school to learn so that you can have a brighter future, maybe you will be the one that becomes a change in the community. That is the meaning of the future for me.
In my life, we don’t have gender equality yet, in the future I want gender equality to happen all over the world. We have never had a woman president in our country, but in the future, I believe that we will have women presidents and I will be one of them. In our country we have fewer women that study engineering because women are told to stay at home and raise a family with their hands; building houses they think is for men only. In the future, I believe that we will change and we will have gender equality in our country. Men will not think only for themselves.
To young children, we must plan for our future. Before we listen to friends or something that will pull us down, think about our future. Do not listen to the wrong opinions that your friends give you. Every time, when my friends tell me something, I always think about it and if I’m not sure I ask about it because I always think about my future first. Older people wanted to have a better future, but because they didn’t have an education like us they couldn’t. Children drop out of school because they fail, they give up, and just like that, they think they don’t have a future anymore. Believing in yourself will make your future bright.
The future is the time that is still coming, so when I hear the word future I know I must plan for that. I must plan about what is going to happen in the future, but I can die anytime, so while I still have a chance, I must find a way to make my future. My voice matters, so in that case, I also need to be heard. Respect your dreams. Before I do something stupid, I think about the change I want to see in future. In the future I want men to stand up for women. Women standing up for men. I wish the gender-based violence would end, bullying to end and only have people standing for each other and respecting each other. Giving other people a chance so that their voices can be heard. We are all the same people, we are family. Stereotyping people because of their skin colour, because of their language won’t help. Making fun of others won’t make us gain anything.
In the future I want children to stand up for each other. I don’t want our own children to grow up as we did. I wish they can grow in a healthy world. In a country where we will have no stereotypes, gender-based violence, no bullying. I want us to help each other. It’s so painful growing up in a country where people are killing each other because of money. Being bullied by your peers at school. In the future, I wish that all of this will end. I’m tired of living in a world like that.
I am the future. That future is for me."
Please support Ahluma and other girls like her who need access to this vital project by making a donation to The Justice Desk!