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UNICEF: Youth Leaders in Soweto Greet Queen Rania
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UNICEF: Youth Leaders in Soweto Greet Queen Rania
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A Game for Life
UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate for Children, Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan, spends time with members of the Girls’ and Boys’ Empowerment Movement (GEM/BEM) club at the Phefeni Senior Secondary school in Soweto, South Africa. The club offers a safe place to share problems, learn leadership skills, and build confidence to withstand peer group pressure.
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Segment 1

VOICEOVER
You're watching UNICEF Television. UNICEF Eminent Advocate Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan, on a recent visit to South Africa, spent time with members of the GEM/BEM club at the Phefeni Senior Secondary School in Soweto. This club, part of the Girls' and Boys' Empowerment Movement, offers a safe place to share problems, learn leadership skills and build confidence to withstand peer group pressure. Listening to the young students, she saw how their lives can be transformed by giving them the skills to navigate difficult choices and using each other for support.
HRH QUEEN RANIA AL ABDULLAH [UNICEF Eminent Advocate]
I think working together as GEM/BEM means that you will gain more respect for the role of women and girls.
VOICEOVER
Life for teenagers growing up in South Africa’s sprawling Soweto can be challenging. Home to almost half of the population of the city of Johannesburg, the area suffers from high unemployment and poverty. Like their contemporaries in other parts of the world, adolescents here face the dangers of drug abuse, HIV, violence and teenage pregnancy.
WOWB LIKOETLA MBURI [Deputy Director Gender, Gauteng Province Department of Education]
The system has been very punitive towards the girls and we forgot the other part (the boys), because the girl learners don’t get pregnant on their own. So how do we bring all the parties together? Even the systemic response, in terms of ensuring that girl learners have access to education, that is non-negotiable for us.
VOICEOVER
The club, part of the Girls' and Boys' Empowerment Movement, is one of 10,000 across the country. Supported by the Ministry of Education and UNICEF, the clubs are providing an avenue to address gender equality and proving to be such a success that they are now to be rolled out to every school across the country.
AIDA GIRMA [UNICEF Representative, South Africa]
We are very happy that a few weeks ago that the Ministry has made an announcement that this movement is going to be supported in each and very school in South Africa. So we feel that this is the kind of work that UNICEF does, we start and then the Government runs with it.
VOICEOVER
Some of the students have become leaders in their classrooms and role models amongst their friends as a result of their GEM/BEM activities. Activities include debates, poetry readings, drama and music.
ZANELE NKUTHA [President, GEM/BEM]
I think it is important because out there in the world these are the skills that you need as a person. You have to start to be a leader yourself before you can be able to lead other people. And wherever you go I think that it is important that each and every individual shows leadership skills. I think it is very crucial.
VOICEOVER
Queen Rania’s visit concluded with the club members singing her their new GEM song. The lyrics reinforcing what their movement represents and the positive contribution these young teenagers want to make to their future and that of their country. For UNICEF Television, this is Shantha Bloemen. Unite for children.