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Lydia Hlongwane

Lydia Hlongwane, 31, helps children in Hammanskraal, where she is from – who carry the burden of heading up a household at a young age, as well as those with special needs – with the support they need in an under-resourced township.

Hlongwane is considered a leader in her community for the work that she does, and is known for standing up for what is right. She makes sure that girls who head up families are still able to attend school, and sees to it that children with special needs gain access to the facilities that they need.

She has been described as an exceptional leader and is one of the Young African Leadership Initiative regional fellows, as well as Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part ambassador.

Two years ago, she launched a project aimed at helping to eradicate teenage pregnancy and the high percentage of dropouts in schools by holding talks and workshops.

The project collects donations of toiletries and sanitary towels that are then given to girls from the ages of 11 to 18 years old. She also started a campaign called “Treat Her like a Queen”, which gives girls an opportunity to experience life outside of the rural areas where they are from, by treating them to a gala dinner, gifts, pampering, as well as helping them prepare for their matric farewells.

Find her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter: @LHlogwane

Nominated in category: Leadership

Photo: Supplied