Wheelchair Wednesday helps sustain job creation

Faizel Francis, Ashlene Rockman, Chenevor Saays and Abongile Tyala proudly show off the Casual Day 2016 T-shirts. Photo: SUPPLIED
Faizel Francis, Ashlene Rockman, Chenevor Saays and Abongile Tyala proudly show off the Casual Day 2016 T-shirts. Photo: SUPPLIED

“OUR Job Creation workshops provide meaningful work for some 100 persons with disabilities, who in most cases, due to various social and structural reasons, are not considered employable by the open labour market.”

This according to Brett Marshall, Fundraising Manager at APD. Marshall further added, “Our running costs are extremely high. The proceeds from the Wheelchair Wednesday campaign help to sustain this meaningful service.”

The Ability Wear Job Creation Centre provides sewing and garment-manufacturing skills training and income-generating work opportunities to people with disabilities.

The centre custom manufactures and brands a wide range of clothing apparel for local companies, government departments and schools in and around Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch).

The Ability Wear Job Creation Centre includes a sewing, screen-printing and embroidery operation. On-the-job skills training and knowledge transfer are ongoing in this centre. APD is continually looking to identify persons with disabilities with potential to receive further sewing, printing, and embroidery training.

They have approximately 40 persons with disabilities working in the Ability Wear Job Creation Centre.

This beneficiary group mostly comes from impoverished communities in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Ability Wear Job Creation Centre secures orders for the manufacture and printing of 30 000 T-shirts for Casual Day. Casual Day is a national awareness and fundraising event that takes place in September.

“APD is thrilled to announce that we have secured the order to manufacture and print promotional garments for this event. Bringing new business to Nelson Mandela Bay and making sure that it ensures work and income for the disability sector is indeed an achievement that we can be proud of,” said Brian Bezuidenhout, Executive Director of APD.

The Ability Wear Job Creation Centre is the only one of its kind in Nelson Mandela Bay and provides a unique and vital service to the local disabled community.

Garth van Niekerk, Board Chairman of APD, added, “We have seen an increasing number of people with disabilities, who have been trained and received employment in this centre begin to improve the socio-economic conditions of their families and communities. This is proof that the centre is playing an increasingly important role in the alleviation of poverty in the disabled community we serve.”

The centre is in line with the developmental objectives outlined in the National Development Plan 2030. It fulfils several of the key targets set out in the NDP, namely, poverty reduction, economic growth, economic transformation and job creation.

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