Sinakho; where dreams are made

2017-03-16 06:03
Thobeka Mvuvu is one of the participants who graduated yesterday

Thobeka Mvuvu is one of the participants who graduated yesterday

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The lack of skills and employment opportunities continue to be a major challenge for many, especially the women and youth.

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has taken a leading role in supporting much-needed entrepreneurs.

Through its partnership with the Sinakho Leadership Support and Skills Development Centre in Langa, Western Cape, the IDC supports a key entrepreneurial community project aimed at uplifting the lives of disadvantaged women and youth through sewing.

Twenty five participants graduated from the programme after successfully completing a six-week accredited training which covers all aspects of garment making, presented by I love Sewing.

This is the second year that the IDC funds the sewing tool kits which the graduates use. These kits, valued at just over R 400 000, have everything required to produce a garment – from the machines, materials, needles and cottons to scissors, chairs, desks, ironing boards, irons and rails.

Tamara Nketle (54), a graduate from the 2015 programme, has gone on to start her own business since obtaining her tool kit.

“I have used my skills and the toolkit to sew garments to earn a living. I have kept some of the money made from selling my garments and I am now in a position to purchase a wendy house which I will use as a premises for my business,” says Nketle.

She has not only managed to provide for her family, but has also inspired a budding fashion designer in one of her granddaughters.

This grandmother of three has started teaching her grandchildren how to sew and the eldest of the three has taken such a keen interest in sewing that she wants to study after matriculating.

“Sinakho’s role in empowering women and the youth to mend their current reality and create the building blocks for their future through the skill of sewing is making a considerable difference to communities.

By supporting the centre in their drive to improve the socio-economic conditions of people in the community of Langa we hope to help accelerate the country’s economic development, says Tebogo Molefe, the IDC’s Head of Corporate Social Development.

Sinakho, which operates out of a shipment container, currently offers local women a two-month sewing course, where they get taught how to make garments from scratch.

The non-profit organisation, which was co-founded by Dr Mthobeli Guma and Nontuthuzelo Phahlana, has given hope to the people of Langa.

In future, Sinakho plans to train and equip unemployed persons and vulnerable youth in various hard and soft skills such as basic business skills, computer skills, food technology and confectionary - all through experiential learning.

Sinakho also aims to boost job creation in Langa by opening a mini clothing and textiles factory.

Through this factory, the centre hopes to make the sewing project sustainable while creating more jobs for learners in this Western Cape township.

In partnership with Nedbank, Cape Union Mart, the Cape Town Fashion Council, and other key stakeholders, the IDC has supported Sinakho and hopes to have more partners joining in to help achieve this dream.

“Equipping the women who come to our centre with a skill like sewing not only helps them develop themselves, but helps them become more productive, and most importantly, provides them with the opportunity to earn a decent living and build the future they’ve long dreamt of.”

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