Pen pal project aims to empower and help girls

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A GROUP of girls from Portsmouth can count some new names amongst their friends this week.

Girls aged 10 to 14, from Buckland’s Charles Dickens Youth Centre, wrote letters to girls of a similar age in a community in Swaziland, in southern Africa.

They shared details of their lives, dreams and challenges, and will receive letters from the Swazi girls in return.

It comes after they took part in a project to mark UN International Day of the Girl, which was held on Saturday to recognise girls’ human rights across the world.

The letter exchange was started by The Seed, Africa, an organisation founded by 27-year-old Georgina-Kate Adams, who grew up in Emsworth.

Ms Adams said: ‘I truly believe that as a global family, we are more the same than we are different. The girls taking part in this project – whether in Portsmouth or Swaziland – face similar challenges: including family break-ups, poverty and the risk of teenage pregnancy.

‘My hope is that, in their pen pals, the girls find a sister with whom they feel a sense of solidarity. And that they inspire each other to fulfil their potential.’