Women’s group’s plans to grow

PHOTO: supplied Florina Hadebe (left) and Clothilda Ngcongo with some of the hand-made items the group makes.
PHOTO: supplied Florina Hadebe (left) and Clothilda Ngcongo with some of the hand-made items the group makes.

IT’S all about uplifting and empowering women through self-help - that is the mission statement of Zamukukhuphuka-Khombindlela, an organisation for the rural women of St Faith’s, managed by Cathy Buchholz.

The group, which now consists of 20 women, was established in 1980 and then later taken over by Buchholz in 2006.

For many years these women sustained themselves through selling products they make from recyclable materials, sewing and growing vegetables.

“The women in this area are faced with many challenges such as increasing poverty, high levels of crime, HIV/Aids and waste dumping,” said Buchholz.

Current activities include collecting empty chips packets from schools and other places, which are then woven into place mats.

The women also make shopping bags from material, not plastic, and wonder bags, which are used to keep meals hot for hours.

Three vegetable tunnels are used to grow fresh produce which is then sold to the public.

“It doesn’t stop there. This group of enthusiastic women have plans for the future, but need assistance from locals and business owners,” said Buchholz.

The organisation has plans to build a market shelter with six rooms and verandas from which to sell their products.

The rooms will be rented out to individuals.

“A long-term plan will be to build a road restaurant near the market shelter where the women will do the catering. It’s possible, but we need assistance in cash or kind.”

A plan for this facility has already been drawn up by an architect and a sustainability plan has also been drafted.

“We will need about R400 000 to complete this project and appeal to the community to help us start it.”

Contact Buchholz on 076 772 1528 or email cathy.buch holz@gmail.com

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