Press Release: United Nations Youth Envoy engages with young girls at a school in Pretoria

13 February 2018 – UNIC/PR/2018/02/13

Pretoria, South Africa: The United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, yesterday held an interactive discussion with young girls from the Young Rise Club at the Steve Tshwete Secondary School in Olievenhoutbosch, west of Pretoria. The club, a programme organized by non-profit organization Soul City, aims to empower girls on HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health.

The youth role-played a drama scene which highlighted some of the challenges faced by young girls in South Africa, which include gender-based violence, HIV, teenage pregnancy and family ostracization following the discovery of their status.

Ms. Wickramanayake encouraged the girls to continue pursuing their education and using these platforms to empower themselves adding that “all youth have potential and that potential needs to be fulfilled.”

These sentiments were also echoed by the Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Natalia Gumen, who also attended the event along with representatives of the Gauteng Department of Education, UNFPA regional and country offices.

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