Mitchell’s Plain pupil models are teaching their peers to be confident, independent and helping them achieve their goals and dreams.
Sash-Leen Farrow, 17, Jodene Alberts, 12, both from Rocklands, and Lutfia Booysen, 10, from Lost City, combined their initials to form SJL Modelling School, in May last year.
“We help little girls achieve their goals and dreams. Many of us grow up facing all of this negativity, like abuse, gangsterism, violence and drug abuse.
“We want to tell them they can turn things around and keep them away from these challenges.
“We want them to know that there are people out there who care about them and that they are part of a sisterhood,” said Sash-Leen, who had been modelling since the age of four.
She was also the guest speaker at a Women’s Day event in Lost City on Sunday August 9.
Sash-Leen said many would think modelling is just about looks.
“It is about a lot more. It is about reaching your goals and giving back to the community. It is about what is on the inside that counts,” she said.
She said losing was part of the package but “we put the fun in everything we do”.
“There is no worse part,” she said.
Lutfia said: “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.”
This is her opening line when she introduces herself to judges of various pageants.
She would like to be a teacher because she wants to “enrich young minds”. The modelling school teaches the girls to stand together, be positive and to present themselves on stage as well as respect and confidence.
They are supported by their mothers, including Chayelle Kruser, who founded and co-ordinates the non-profit organisation Dreams Goals Achieve, in Lost City, where they have been distributing porridge daily and food every Wednesday, since the national Covid-19 lockdown started in March.
Among the projects the girls undertake is entertaining the senior citizens on special days like Valentine’s Day or birthdays.
“We as parents support them,” she said.
Ms Kruser said they started cooking randomly and out of their pockets.
She started a youth group to keep the youngsters away from the street corners.
“There isn’t always something for them to eat. We started about a week before lockdown.
“It may be difficult to continue feeding but we are going to keep it running and are working hard for donors to support us,” she said.
For more information and to donate call Ms Kruser on 073 402 1841.