Anti-blesser campaign more focused on the "blessed" rather than the "blessers"

The anti-blesser campaign was introduced by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi three months ago. Its aim is to keep girls in schools and wean them off so-called “sugar daddies”.

The department, with the help of international donors and other government departments, is hoping to put R3 billion towards the campaign.

CapeTalk/702's Koketso Sachane spoke to Juliane Hoss, One Young World Ambassador and co-founder of Bridges Camp about the campaign and the research she conducted in Thembisa, as part of her Masters thesis. It focused on assessing the main challenges facing high school girls in the area.

Hoss says young girls are in a vulnerable position in an area with enormous socio economic challenges and much poverty. She welcomes the campaign as a necessary step that will help support these young girls.

However, Hoss says that people do not fully understand the phenomenon of the so called blessers and the young girls they become involved with. There are many different reasons that girls become involved in these relationships.

What bothers me most about this campaign and how it was introduced, is that we completely seem to shut out the perception of the girls we are actually talking about. We all seem to be ignorant to the actual intentions and opinions of the so called sugar daddies.

Juliane Hoss, One Young World Ambassador and co-founder of Bridges Camp

So we speak of the phenomenon that I feel we haven't fully understand, that's what we need to address

Juliane Hoss, One Young World Ambassador and co-founder of Bridges Camp

Hoss says she is also concerned that the campaign is focused on the high HIV/AIDS infection rate, and not on the bigger picture of gender inequality which could be the contributor to the problem.

While conducting research at a school in Thembisa, Hoss says each girl she spoke to talked about sugar daddies.

The girls in Grade 8-9, they seem to speak with more wisdom and humility about the phenomenon because they acknowledge the diversity among the girls that date sugar daddies ... and they emphasise that there are different reasons why girls date sugar daddies. I find that really mature.

Juliane Hoss, One Young World Ambassador and co-founder of Bridges Camp

She says she found that peer pressure is the main culprit behind these practices. When girls move to high school there is certain pressure to change and adopt a new identity.

They either focus on their books and schoolwork, or start going out with men, and that's when they find themselves in a vulnerable position.

No one prepares them on what to expect at the clubs... because we don't allow such behaviors therefore we don't talk to them about it

Juliane Hoss, One Young World Ambassador and co-founder of Bridges Camp

Parents in poverty stricken areas are sometimes involved in encouraging their teenage daughters to enter into these imbalanced power relations, as it brings money into the home.

Listen to the full conversation below:

Read More
How dads can form healthy relationships with their daughters

How dads can form healthy relationships with their daughters

Dads raising daughters face difficult challenges. Psychologist Zamo Mbele advises how fathers can become more conscious parents.

Nokia unveils new and improved 3310 with fresh mobile features

Nokia unveils new and improved 3310 with fresh mobile features

The 3310 has been upgraded with web-browsing, a 2 megapixel camera, micro SD slot, radio and MP3 player, 16 MB storage and more.

LISTEN: Less marriages because of lobola

LISTEN: Less marriages because of lobola

A recent study has found that the practice of lobola contributes to the decreasing number of marriages in South Africa.

Technobyte: Nokia goes retro and the latest from Mobile World Congress

Technobyte: Nokia goes retro and the latest from Mobile World Congress

This week all the latest news from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia goes retro and Telkom's FreeMe packages

10 sexting tips on how to keep things spicy (and safe)

10 sexting tips on how to keep things spicy (and safe)

Interested in sexting but worried about the risks? Dr Eve has created a guideline to help you 'sext' in a fun and responsible way.

 Write about black history urges Xolela Mangcu

Write about black history urges Xolela Mangcu

Sociology prof says it's sad there are few biographies of early and current black scholars and challenges academics to fill gaps.

Popular articles
10 sexting tips on how to keep things spicy (and safe)

10 sexting tips on how to keep things spicy (and safe)

Interested in sexting but worried about the risks? Dr Eve has created a guideline to help you 'sext' in a fun and responsible way.

Vaal Dam about to reach 100% capacity

Vaal Dam about to reach 100% capacity

A few months ago the dam was only 27% full.

Confrontations between Somalis and locals, police fire rubber bullets

Confrontations between Somalis and locals, police fire rubber bullets

The #ForeignerMarch has turned violent. Police had to use stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

Letters show Moyane refuses to account to Gordhan, turns to Zuma to intervene

Letters show Moyane refuses to account to Gordhan, turns to Zuma to intervene

M&G reports that Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane declared an intergovernmental dispute against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Violence breaks out in Atteridgeville amid #XenoMarch

Violence breaks out in Atteridgeville amid #XenoMarch

Tensions are high in Atteridgeville as a group calling itself Mamelodi Concerned Residents prepares to march against immigrants.

Where is that corrupt bastard? - EFF MP to Brian Molefe

Where is that corrupt bastard? - EFF MP to Brian Molefe

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe was sworn in as a Member of Parliament replacing Abram Mudau this week.

Mashaba says violent Jozi@work protests in Joburg Council orchestrated by ANC

Mashaba says violent Jozi@work protests in Joburg Council orchestrated by ANC

Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba has condemned the violence in the strongest possible terms and says he will lay charges.