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Inspiring the girl child - Interview with Tafara Mbaya, Drake and Garcia
Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa,
March 22, 2012

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Taking action in this year's International Women's Day Celebrations, themed, Connect Girls Inspire Women, social marketing company Drake and Garcia is organizing a campaign that will inspire the Zimbabwean girl child to believe in her capacity to create opportunities and lead to social change. On the 22nd of May 2012 the public will be asked to take a girl in Form 4, 5 or 6 to work so that she can be exposed to different kinds of jobs, on the other hand companies will be asked to twin with a school in an under privileged area.
Source: Drake and Garcia

What is Drake and Garcia?
Drake and Garcia is a social marketing company that uses commercial marketing tools for social impact and change. This is a group of people who had mostly worked in film and marketing. It started when we were doing something on anti-piracy and we found that a lot of marketing was done for commercial things. But things that needed social change there is not much marketing. People who work in that field have a lot of money but they don't use the same marketing tools to get people's attention. So we thought why don't we use commercial tactics.

What is your guiding philosophy as a company?
We believe that a lot of things are done for us by foreigners, so we thought why we don't tell our own stories.

What caused you to conceptualise the Take a Girl to Work campaign?
When we were planning Woman of the Year and during a discussion with the Ministry of Women's Affairs, we found that they were doing a census of women in top management positions...did you know that in organisations like the air force for instance the first woman is ranked fourth from the top. There are women in top positions but their numbers are very, very small. So we decided we wanted to do something about it and we came up with Take a Girl to Work day. It's not unique to Zimbabwe, it's been done in South Africa, the UK . . . it's almost everywhere, and it has been seen to help. For example, there's a girl in Bikita, the women that she looks up to are teachers and nurses, so she decided that this is what she wants to become when she grows up. Imagine if, for one day, she flies from here to Joburg in the pilot's cockpit. What it does for her. All the possibilities. I mean even before she gets onto the plane she will have seen a lot of women doing different things. So that's what we're trying to do. Listen

Who are you targeting with the campaign?
It would be good to have as many girls as possible, but since it's the first time we're targeting mainly lower sixth students, and upper sixes because they are deciding what they want to do with their lives. We are also targeting Form 4s. Mainly this is in urban, semi urban and mine areas. Some companies have expressed an interest in having girls from the rural areas. Because it's a pilot it's easier to deal with schools in urban areas. There are still disadvantaged schools in an urban setting, but we have selected a few rural schools where the companies will send a bus for them to come. Listen

How will the campaign work?
Companies will register and select a school that they want to work with. They will select 10 girls from a certain school that they will take for the whole day. Before the girls come they will write essays about what they want to do in life and, given the opportunity, where they'd want to go. These 10 will get paired with a company, they will come in the morning and we will have role models, women in top management, maybe the CEOs who will talk to them. This way the girls get exposed to as many jobs as possible. They will also get a package, which will contain a career guidance booklet and other gifts from the company. We hope it won't end there, but there will be an internship that they can do with the companies during holidays and possibly even get sponsorship for university etc. For individuals they can take their kids, or other girls to schools.

What is your long-term vision for this campaign?
We want it to go national; we want every single girl in that age group to have access to at least one event. We hope that in five years time we will have achieved that. Where it has been done all over the world early pregnancies are reduced, grades go up. It is also seen that there are more women as pilots and scientists. We hope that we can improve a great deal in the number of women who take jobs that have small proportions of women.

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