A spark for food grads

2016-04-14 06:00
Thembisa Nontsele, programme manager at Zanokhanyo Training Centre (wearing black on the left), Nonkumbulo Ngxabani (wearing black on the right) and trainees for cooking during the event at the centre, in Khayelitsha, on Thursday.  PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Thembisa Nontsele, programme manager at Zanokhanyo Training Centre (wearing black on the left), Nonkumbulo Ngxabani (wearing black on the right) and trainees for cooking during the event at the centre, in Khayelitsha, on Thursday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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There is a spark of hope for a group of unemployed women in Khayelitsha who are undergoing training as cooks on the eve of their graduation.

The 15 women showcased their work during a mouth-watering lunch where guests from different organisations were invited to get a taste of their food at Zanokhanyo Training Centre, in Harare, on Thursday.

Zanokhanyo Training Centre operates under Catholic Welfare and Development (CWD).

The seven week-long course was split into two with first four weeks spent at the premises and the remainder at hotels in the city.

The graduation ceremony takes place at the end of the month and the next intake will start in May.

Thembisa Nontsele, programme manager at Zanokhanyo Training Centre, said the programme aims to create job opportunities for unemployed women, and has its origins back in 1999.

“We have seen positive results from since the inception of the programme. Most of them end up getting jobs at the hotels where they were doing in-service training. About 90 percent of those who have undergone training here get immediate employment and the rest are put on our database.

It helps them a lot because. There is high opportunity for employment for them,” Nontsele said.

The trainees pay only R10 for the training and they are also given R300 per person for transport during the in-service training.

Most of the guests were partners and stakeholders like the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), Masiphuhlisane Food Garden, First National Bank (FNB) and other organisations.

Zoleka Gwe, 43, one of the trainees, applauded the programme.

“I have learnt a lot from the training. It is really helping us and I am very happy. I have been unemployed and it has been hard for me to provide for my four children, but now I am standing a good chance of getting a job after the training. Their father is the only bread-winner and it is hard for him too to support all of us,” Gwe said.

Gwe is doing her in-service training at Helderberg Village, home for the elderly in Somerset West.

Sydney Vanlow, of Masiphuhlisane Food Garden, praised the lunch at Zanokhanyo.

“It was a great experience for me.

I have always encourage people who are unemployed to do something for themselves, to keep them occupied. This will really develop them. I enjoyed the interaction that was there,” Vanlow said.

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