September in South Africa. Abundant wildlife, wildflowers and whales. The warmer, longer days invite broad smiles. This month marks the start of Spring, and so naturally, it is a time of stock-taking as much as it is regeneration. Within the month, we celebrate Heritage Day (September 24th), a national holiday affectionately known by the locals as ‘National Braai Day’. On this particular day, it is customary to gather our friends and family, toast to the beauty of our country, reflect upon our history and ponder our future. Here at Escape+Explore, we believe the future is female!
Our internship and leadership program focuses on supporting BRAVE Rock Girls, a grassroots nonprofit organisation from one of Cape Town’s most underserved communities, empowering girls to find their voices, stay in school and become economically independent young women. We believe our support of BRAVE Rock Girls, is a catalyst for raising South Africa’s future leaders and to achieving gender equality.
Escape+Explore’s connection with the BRAVE Rock Girls officially launched back in 2017 with The Brave Adventure Academy to create the next generation of female adventure guides in SA. Girls between 14 – 18 from underprivileged communities train alongside our guides to learn practical life skills at the cutting edge of African Travel.
We developed our relationship with the BRAVE Rock Girls in support of our belief that having a Rock Girl on tour with us creates a meaningful exchange between our clients and the youth of our communities, providing an enriched experience. We have had many first- time experiences from visiting Robben Island and Table Mountain to teaching the girls how to ride bicycles, surf and Stand Up Paddle (SUP) alongside our clients. The effects of uplifting one BRAVE Rock Girl affects the whole community, and our Academy has given the younger girls the confidence to follow their dreams.
“Escape+Explore gives us the confidence to not only speak up but to climb mountains, surf waves and explore our own country.”
Miche Williams – Founding BRAVE Rock Girl who now sits on the governing council of the prestigious African Leadership Academy
Watch the video of BRAVE Rock Girl’s first-ever international road trip. This experience was a powerful catalyst for nation-building that breached borders.
BRAVE Rock Girl has been committed to being girl-led since being established in 2009. This ideal is at the heart of the BRAVE Leaders Programme. Ask us more.
An initiative that Escape+Explore, together with our trade partner Abercrombie & Kent has launched with BRAVE Rock Girls is the BRAVE Hub House in Sea Point, Cape Town. One of BRAVE Rock Girls’ senior leaders, Audery February, is 19 years old and a now-former resident of Mannenberg, Cape Flats. Audery is passionate about being a Rock Girl because she wants her voice and the voices of girls across South Africa to be heard. Audery writes regularly for the Cape Times as a BRAVE Rock Girl reporter and speaks on radio and television about BRAVE Rock Girl’s work. She also interns with Escape+Explore as a junior guide, conducting tours of Rock Girl benches and other unexplored areas of Cape Town. There is plenty more room for partners in our travel community to join forces with us to support BRAVE Hub House. Contact us to find out how you can be a part of this movement.
Audery says, “Manenberg is a gang-infested community that’s wracked by violence, abuse, early school dropouts, teenage pregnancy and drug abuse. Some of us don’t have a safe living environment. Some of us live with too many siblings in a two-bedroom house. Without privacy, it was difficult to focus on our careers. The hub helps us face this by doing what we want in life to better our futures. It also helps us reach our goals. I am joined in this residence by my two fellow senior Rock Girl leaders. We are mentors for Junior rock girls that we meet up with weekly, and we organise transport for our outdoor activities for other Senior Girls/Junior Girls. We plan Junior girl workshops.”
Escape+Explore’s Upliftment Tour offers guests a unique insight into community-based projects such as MonkeyBiz and the Hout Bay T-Bag Project, among others. This tour is hosted by a BRAVE Rock Girl and is a super experience for families to enjoy. BRAVE Rock Girls are also available to join any of our other tours. The supplement for this is a direct contribution to the livelihood of these inspiring young women.
Contact us to speak to our friendly team of Adventure Architects about how you can include a BRAVE Rock Girl in your next Escape+Explore experience.
We look forward to hearing from you!