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IMpower training begins

Training has begun for No Means No Worldwide’s IMpower programme in South Africa. A group of dedicated young women from NACOSA and partner organisations on the Adolescent Girls and Young Women programme have come together in Cape Town to start the intensive process of becoming facilitators for the empowerment self-defense programme proven to reduce rape by up to 50%.

IMpower teaches women and girls between 10 and 20 how to identify risk early, how to say no effectively, and, if that doesn’t work, how to use physical self-defense to escape danger. IMpower also helps boys and young men understand that all forms of violence, including rape and sexual harassment are not acceptable. They learn to recognize when girls or women are in trouble and learn practical strategies of how to intervene safely.

Thanks to funding from Philanthropical Foundation Sint Antonius Stichting, NACOSA is working with No Means No Worldwide to roll out IMpower in South African communities, starting with girls in Gauteng, the North West and the Western Cape who are part of NACOSA’s Adolescent Girls and Young Women Programme (funded by the Global Fund) and following-up with the boys programme early next year.

IMpower takes place in 2-hour classes over six sessions where young women and girls can:

  • Gain the mental and verbal skills to prevent attacks
  • Discover their own power
  • Know their rights and how to claim them
  • Learn physical self-defense skills

Most of all, the programme helps young women realize that they are worth defending.

Both NACOSA and NMNW are committed to growing the IMpower programme in South Africa substantially in the coming years to help tackle the country’s extremely high rates of violence against women and children.