Teaching young girls to protect themselves

Doné Coetzer, a social worker at Childline Free State.

Doné Coetzer, a social worker at Childline Free State, is on a quest to make an impact on young girls’ lives through self-defence.

Coetzer told Bloemfontein Courant that gender-based violence in South Africa has become a huge problem. She said that woman and children are exposed to physical and sexual violence as they are often perceived as easy targets. “This is one of the main reason why I wanted to start my impact self-defence project.”

Impact stands for: I – Independence, M – Mindfulness, P – Perseverance, A – Assertiveness, C – Control and T – Talent.

According to Coetzer, the vision of this project is to empower young girls to become independent, assertive and mindful, and to promote perseverance in the face of adversity, as well as to help them experience a sense of control over their immediate bodily environment.

The goals of the project are to mobilise the inherent talents of young girls and to teach then the skills of personal safety practices, such as setting physical boundaries and situational observation; to build their confidence so that they can stand up for themselves and feel strong enough to act and speak out when they are in dangerous situations; and to also teach them certain self-defence techniques that they can use to protect themselves when needed.”

We are looking for volunteer instructors who will be willing to give their time and knowledge for this project. We are also waiting for feedback about funding for protective gear that will be needed for the project (boxing gloves, safety mats, punching bags and safety headgear).”

If you want to become involved in the project or donate toward the project contact Doné Coetzer at 051 430 3311 or get in touch via e-mail at donec@cwcl.org.za.

Justine Fortuin