Our Women Empowerment Programme focuses strongly on empowering middle-aged women in particular, with opportunities to create their own sources of income.
Women are divided into groups, who meet regularly under the guidance of skilled supervisors and are taught how to utilise their existing skills – and acquire new skills – to create self-employment and income for themselves.
Currently the project is running in the Eastern Cape. Donations go towards providing the ladies with raw materials and equipment to produce products.
When women are financially empowered, studies have shown that their status increases so that they can have greater equality with men and greater bargaining power within their families.
Consequently, their self-esteem improves too. As a result of a combination of these factors, studies found that incidences of domestic abuse decreased within these communities.
Thus, the far-reaching impact that financial empowerment of women in impoverished communities can potentially have is one of the key reasons why we have chosen to focus our attention primarily on women.
Approximately 30 individuals (initially) meet weekly and are granted the opportunity to apply their creative skills in all kinds of needle work and the production of beautifully crafted objects.
These include exquisite girls’ and women’s dresses, scarves, socks, gloves, jerseys, handbags, shoes, dolls and dolls’ clothes, quilts, the stringing of beads, and beautifying existing objects through embroidery/painting.
Older women still know how to make soap, jams and bottled fruit, for example, and all of these skills can be passed onto a younger generation. At the same time, they are encouraged to start their own food gardens, not only for their own consumption, but also to sell.
Once the skills of individuals have been identified, they are divided into skills-based groups, to concentrate and co-operate on the production of marketable merchandise.
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