Reflections on inaugural “Becoming a Modern Day Princess” leadership training
[notice]Debbie Hemmens reports back on the recent SA launch of the “Becoming A Modern Day Princess” mentorship programme for young girls with a leadership training session by programme founder Doreen Hanna.[/notice]
Our pre-teens and teens often listen to the media and their friends more than to their parents at this stage of their lives. It is so helpful at this point to have a mentor come alongside them to empower and equip them for their futures as young women. Someone they can share things with, someone who cares and will listen to them and point them in the right direction with an awesome vision for their future.
The depression rate in teen girls has increased to 1 in every 3 girls. Divorce and death has left more than 50% of our girls fatherless in certain communities. Male affirmation is the most sought after validation in all ages of girls and women’s lives. Teenage pregnancy, STD’s, AIDS are all on the increase. Self image and identity are so often at the heart of it all. If we can enable our girls to journey towards coming to know themselves as worthy and having value, we can change the shape of our country, nation, world!
Daughters of the King
During her recent visit to South Africa, Modern Day Princess (BMDP) founder Doreen Hanna shared on how she got started on the mentorship programme that enables young girls to make such a life-transforming journey of self discovery: “In June of 1999, I envisioned the amazing blessings and crowning moments to come after researching what it meant to be a daughter of the King – a princess in God’s Kingdom. In studying numerous cultures’ ways to celebrate a girl’s step into womanhood, I found that there was often a process, a journey to the moment when a daughter is crowned with that culture’s sentiment of royalty. After reading these valuable, purpose-driven rite-of-passage rituals, my passion to see this happen for the Christian community was uncontainable. It was time to create!”
Modern Day Princess is the mouthpiece of God to speak to the girls of this world calling them back to the life they were born for, reminding them who they are. In a nutshell MDP is a 10 week long mentorship course, although it may also take the form of weekend seminars and camps. The girls each receive a journal which they work through at home in the week before their next training session. At the end of the course there is a celebration and crowning service for the girls who have participated where their dad or ‘step in dad’ gets to say a blessing over them and crown them with a tiara. A promise was given to Doreen that God will always raise up a man to bless any girl who participates in this programme.
Hanna reflects: “Thousands of girls worldwide who have participated in the BMDP programme are overcoming these [destructive lifestyle] statistics because they have been equipped to boldly face and wisely choose not to surrender to the enemies of their culture. Every girl deserves a mentor, a mom, and a memorable blessing – a rite-of-passage to womanhood – and a chance to be a woman who reflects God’s character and lives it out to leave a positive imprint in a world that so desperately needs it.”
Restoration of relationships
The first leadership training in South Africa took place in Johannesburg on Saturday, October 25, 2014 with 23 leaders from Africa (Ghana, Gauteng, Limpopo, Natal, Western Cape) being trained by Doreen Hanna and three of her experienced leaders from the USA. They took us through the leadership guide and the girls’ journal highlighting important points and sharing many stories from their journeys with groups of girls in the USA. The restoration of relationships has been a key factor in this programme so far: fathers to daughter, daughters to fathers, girls to girls, families and even divorce halted in its steps. Friendships among the girls in their specific groups have been formed and are still going strong years later.
Another highlight of the BMDP group’s trip to South Africa was being invited to record a radio interiew with Focus on the Family Africa which will be broadcast in February 2015. They were able to share the vision of BMPD for Africa.
My personal journey with BMDP began with reading the book “Raising a Modern Day Princess” and then contacting Doreen to ask how I could take my girls through the course and how we could get this going in South Africa. Well the first step was to lead my girls through the course and then use their 13th birthday as an opportunity for the celebration service. What a special time this was. I stayed in touch with Doreen and the result of many emails and conversations was her recent team trip to South Africa to spark the flame that is going to spread across our land. In order for this to happen we need many ladies with a passion to mentor young girls to go through the leadership training so that we can reach every girl, in every province in South Africa and to reach beyond our borders into Africa as well.
Contact Debbie Hemmens (MDP Gauteng rep) on 074 147 9902 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.