Abashintshi 2018 Awards event a success

2018-12-12 06:00
Mari Lee of DevcomPHOTOs: Purnal Poonusamy

Mari Lee of DevcomPHOTOs: Purnal Poonusamy

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THE SAPPI Abashintshi Awards Day Celebration took place recently at the Protea Hotel by Marriot Karridene Beach.

The Abashintshi Project is inspired by Sappi, which uses social mobilisation and Asset-Based Community Development to uplift and empower local communities.

After noticing a high unemployment rate and need for social intervention and enterprise development within the communities that Sappi Southern Africa’s Forestry division in KwaZulu-Natal operates in, the 12-month project known as Abashintshi was conceived.

Abashintshi, which means “changers” in IsiZulu, was established in 2015 by Sappi in conjunction with development agency Devcom. The project saw the appointment of 18 unemployed youth, called the Abashintshi, and helped activate their entrepreneurial skills using the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) methodology.

The Abashintshi go through a programme that consists of life skills and entrepreneurship training, as well a programme with the elders in their communities, known as Ifa Lethu, whereby they gain an appreciation for heritage, culture, and offer holiday programmes for school children.

The Abashintshi project in turn provides Sappi with a new channel of communicating with their communities, which has helped to resolve issues, to foster better community relationships.

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