Discussion Questions for the Students in Your Life
Facts to share: In the United States, the government provides all children with a free education and requires them to attend school. Some of the smartest South African children from disadvantaged and dangerous communities do not have the opportunity to go to school. Their families cannot afford to send them because of the cost of required uniforms and annual school fees.
2. Do you know how many South African women between the ages of 15 and 24 can't read?
B) 1 in 10
C) 1 in 20
Facts to share: Almost 1 in 10 South African women between the ages of 15 and 24 can't read because they have not been able to attend school. When girls learn to read, they are empowered to improve their lives and the lives of their children.
Follow-up: What does an education mean to girls like Lesego and Thando? What do they hope to achieve for themselves and their country? How are they similar or different from the dreams you have?
3. What did you learn about AIDS/HIV in South Africa? What does it mean for the future of South Africa?
Facts to share: In 2005, 5.5 million South Africans were living with HIV/AIDS. An estimated 18.8 percent of adults ages 15 to 49—the generation responsible for raising children, running government, working for and owning businesses—were living with HIV. That's almost 1 out of 20 adults.
4. What are some of the ways the AIDS/HIV epidemic has personally touched some of the girls' lives? How has it inspired Zodwa and Sade?
Facts to share: Many children in South Africa have lost parents to AIDS/HIV. Some have grandparents who can care for them; others are now responsible for raising themselves and their siblings.
Follow-up: Imagine what your life would be like without even one parent in your home. How would you balance your school work with caring for your family at such a young age?