Unveiling the power of the heart

August 28, 2023

Above: A young learner is immersed in creating a Heart Map.

Linda Daniels, our newest member of the Lalela team, attended the recent Women’s Day event as a mentor to a learner from Masiphumelele. She shares how the experience left an enduring imprint on her heart.

August 9 marks the nationwide celebration of women’s achievements, resilience, and progress. And this year, Lalela’s Women’s Day event was a vibrant display of colours, creativity and camaraderie.

The event which was organised by our Female Empowerment programme showcased how art can transcend boundaries, spark conversations and new connections.

It was a lively gathering of female learners, who were paired with women mentors from various sectors, and together they unleashed their creativity by creating art that speaks straight to the heart. I was lucky enough to attend the event held at Hout Bay High and had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Yamkela, a Grade 8 learner from Masiphumelele.

Our Female Empowerment programme supports young women as they enter high school and works with them to stay in school by developing their confidence to excel academically and to sustain the courage to pursue their dreams.

Above: The Heart Maps was an opportunity to collaboratively create art.

Colouring outside the lines: The Heart Maps

The star of the women’s day event were the unique heart maps created by the young women and their mentors. The heart maps are art works that mirror the four chambers of one’s heart.

Heart Maps is a signature Lalela curriculum designed to connect people across demographic and psychographic lines, breaking down barriers of race, culture, gender and economics.

Young women and their mentors spent time in reflective conversation with each other exploring questions of the heart such as; identity, talents, fears, and dreams.

Yamkela and I easily spoke for more than the allocated 30 minutes exploring music genre’s we enjoyed, our families and some of the fears we held in the deep recesses of our hearts. Our conversation continued during the art making process and while we each individually made something even the creative process was collaborative as we shared ideas, various materials and asked each other advice about which colour to paint with next!

The Women’s Day event illuminated the transformative power of art as well as mentorship. The combination of art and mentorship created a shared experience which left an indelible mark on participant’s lives. I still see Yamkela’s infectious smile in my mind and clearly remember her goals for the future.

The event showcased a captivating violin performance by Kirsty Bows, along with a learner who shared a personal poem. Additionally, Princess Lukhele delivered a motivational speech and graciously presented a book to a learner which she authored.

Above:  The Heart Maps were the star the show.

Art is a vehicle of transformation 

As I reflect on this remarkable event, Iam reminded that Women’s Day transcends mere recognition; it’s about nurturing the potential of women to thrive and contribute to better outcomes for all.

Lalela’s Female Empowerment programme shows how art is a vehicle for empowerment, forges new connections between people and inspires the next generation to boldly step into the future.

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Your generosity makes it possible for Lalela’s educational arts programmes to create meaningful change that affects thousands of at-risk children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Your generosity makes it possible for Lalela’s educational arts programmes to create meaningful change that affects thousands of at-risk children in Sub-Saharan Africa.



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