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  /  News Articles   /  Celebrating Girls in Conservation

Brave Rock Girl (BRAVE) inspires and empowers girl leaders and it’s Daring Disa / Girls in Conservation (DDP) programme is one of the ways it does so.  BRAVE hosted a Family Day on 17 September in Manenberg to celebrate the participants of the Daring Disa / Girls in Conservation Project, twenty-two inspiring high school girls from the community who graduated from the project. They are the second group to complete this 12-month environmental education programme. The project is all about offering the girls meaningful immersive experiences and education on the wonders of fynbos and the surrounding marine environment at Edith Stephens Nature Reserve, in and around Table Mountain National Park and the Cederberg Wilderness Area.


The girls had spent almost every Saturday at Edith Stephens Nature Reserve, which is on the periphery of Manenberg where they learnt about alien clearing, plant propagation, fynbos, testing water quality, restoration and the like. The BRAVE staff organize logistics and accompany the girls on all the project activities.


Chris Eksteen of Cape Leopard Trust (CLT) was in attendance to issue the girls with certificates, the CLT had taken the girls on an overnight camp to the Cederberg and on a 5-day holiday programme exposing them to women in conservation. Chris congratulated the girls and shared how proud he is of them, to see how much they had grown in confidence and knowledge in this time.


The day was an opportunity for parents to learn more about the project and the girls eagerly spoke about what they had done, learnt and the positive impact the programme had on them. Some of the highlights of the year included Kelly Fortuin sharing how she loved learning about the stars in the Cederberg and how she chose to be a better version of herself.


Mikaysha Martin, said “Hi Everyone, today I will be speaking about my experience in film making with Nadine and Dominique. Before making our films, we did not know how to work with cameras, but then Nadine and Dominique showed us how to work with cameras and how to shoot a film. In making the film, we as girls spent time together and built team work. In my group the girls and I started bonding and a sisterhood was established.”


The parents applauded the project saying that they could see visible changes in their daughters’ self-esteem and confidence, they also attributed this to some of the other programmes that BRAVE offers.  Mrs Fataar stated “Zarah has started her own little garden and through that it makes them [her daughters] calmer and focused. In the broader view of the community your project has helped so many of our young girls to be goal orientated, it has somehow taught them that even though living in Manenberg, that there is hope through your impact in their lives and through the opportunity that you have provided for them.”


Another highlight of the day was the screening of the three short films that the girls made. They were trained by award winning filmmaker, Nadine Cloete and Dominique Simons in all aspects of filmmaking scriptwriting, videography, editing and directing. The parents were emotional to see that their children were able to produce such wonderful professionally made films.

The films are:

Changes: Girls from Manenberg speak about how they learnt to respect fynbos and nature and simultaneously experienced fundamental personal growth that resulted in them treating themselves and others with respect and finding a sisterhood.

Fynbos Our Pride: Girls from Manenberg explore the fynbos restoration at Princess Vlei reflecting on its value. The films emphasise the need to stop polluting and to instead protect the natural environment and neighbourhoods and the important work that girls and women do in this regard.

Stop Littering Start Planting: Girls from Manenberg speak about how the Daring Disa project experience inspired them to appreciate plant life, to pursue careers in conservation and to be a part of a supportive sisterhood.