Charmaine Maphutha established Bopedi Hope Foundation with two other women and together they provide school shoes, clothing, toiletries, sanitary towels and other necessities to girls in need. Their goals include providing free sanitary towels in all public spaces.
Maphutha did a Bachelor of Education at the University of Johannesburg and she says that helps reach the school children she works with from a place of understanding. Her work at the Bopedi Hope Foundation has taught her to interact with people on a different level.
“I also learnt that poverty can be a state of mind; the children that we interact with are full of life and have dreams, despite their socioeconomic status.”
That, in turn, inspires her to be the best that she can be.
Maphutha believes that everyone deserves to live with dignity, irrespective of their financial circumstance. “We need effective rural development. I would like to see the children I work with emerge from their circumstances even though it seems difficult,” she says.
The realisation that she has the ability to be inspirational came as a surprise to her: “I always thought that my life and career were two separate spaces. But I was wrong – learners take who you are in society to heart as well. They are as motivated by my professional side as they are by behaviour — how I choose to take up space in society.”