Sewing a brighter future

2017-05-10 06:00
Yvonne du Preez (52), a new member of Clover Mama Afrika, opened her own sewing and quilting business. Through this project she empowers her community through skills transfer.Photo: Supplied

Yvonne du Preez (52), a new member of Clover Mama Afrika, opened her own sewing and quilting business. Through this project she empowers her community through skills transfer.Photo: Supplied

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Pursuing her own business of sewing and quilting seems to be precisely what Yvonne du Preez (52) from Upington needed to help fight the scourge of unemployment within her community.

The project has already started showing its potential by transferring skills to five community members and by creating permanent employment for two people.

The biggest highlight of the project was when Du Preez became a member of Clover Mama Afrika last year.

Clover Mama Afrika searches for worthy women all over the country who care for and help community members.

The project is reported to have already appointed 43 “mamas” throughout South Africa.

These remarkable women that form part of the Clover Mama Afrika project, collectively care for over 15 500 children and 2 500 elderly people, many of whom are abused, orphaned, homeless and vulnerable.

Du Preez has been applauded by Clover as a perfect example of empowering community caregivers with viable skills, helping to pass those skills onto others to earn a sustainable income, improving their lives and creating job opportunities for others.

Du Preez credits part of her achievement to Mary Visagie, a Clover Mama who runs the Oasis Skill Centre, which she started in 1999.

Visagie reportedly reached her objective through the support of the Women’s Development Forum, of which she was a member.

Du Preez, a single mother of two, was in the South African Army from 1984 to 2000.

She says she overcame many challenges that faced her in a male-dominated environment through her hard work.

According to her she won various accolades such as “Strong Woman of the Year” and “Best Trainee” during her army years.

During these years in the army she became a captain with a troop of 52 men and women under her command.

“Now my next goal is to continue this dream of ploughing back into my community through empowering school drop outs to sharpen their skills in using their hands.

“The unemployment rate in my community is high, thus we need to know how to make our own money and not depend on hand outs.”

In her continuous journey to motivating people, especially the youth, Du Preez made her cellphone number available to anyone who needs to talk to her or place orders for her creations.

Call her on 063-495-1712.

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