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This South African school is taking on the unemployment crisis head-on and is on a mission to provide solutions that create opportunities for the parents of the school – to learn skills and create a revenue stream!


Soweto, South Africa (22 January 2020) – With unemployment reaching crisis proportions in a county at war with itself, it’s encouraging to see how unemployed parents are tapping into their skills to create a shift to offset the escalating crisis and restore their own dignity in the process!

Thabang Primary SGB is taking on the unemployment crisis head-on and is on a mission to provide solutions that create opportunities for the parents of the school to learn skills and create a revenue stream.

Thanks to a partnership with Sari for change which is a social-economic enterprise, Thabang Primary hits the 2020 school year with a focused plan to create opportunities for at least 20 parents set to start a skills training incubation hub at the school.

Chairperson of Thabang Primary SGB, Shadi Mogole has rolled up her sleeves to offer training in sewing and uniform making. With the high rate of unemployment, Shadi felt that the confidence and participation from parents were at an all-time low. What started as a beading workshop agreed between the principal of the school and Rayana Edwards, a business leader of Partners for Possibility and founder of Sari For Change in June 2019, is turning out to be a fully-fledged manufacturing hub for more than 20 unemployed women in 2020.

As entrepreneurs in Sari For Change’s network rallied together after the beading workshop, they were able to purchase a sewing machine and overlocker with the idea of uniform making and to provide manufacturing of fashion products.

Mom of Two, Shadi saw the opportunity to take ownership of a project that could yield returns on their labour and newly learned skills through partnerships. This offered parents a more engaged presence at the school, access to develop skills and an opportunity to earn while being in proximity to their kids at the school. Thanks to Sari for Change who offered Shadi, a retainer for volunteering to teach basic skills as she worked in clothing production in her previous employment. The ladies quickly pushed for more hand-beading classes and slowly started earning off their labour by making basic bags for Sari For Change to be used as packaging.

To move forward, the hub needs sewing machines, overlockers to cater for the class of 2020 training programme starting the end of January. This manufacturing hub based at the school proves that with dedication and a shared vision, the ills of our communities can be tackled with meaningful collaborations.

JT Comms with their EC Africa network of entrepreneurs have also joined the call of sharing the Thabang Primary school’s story by providing much-needed PR.

Shadi and her ladies aim to produce uniforms, tracksuits and sportswear for Thabang Primary and the surrounding schools. In reaching their goal of producing thousands of uniforms while utilising the school spaces, they are leading the way in communities feeding into entrepreneurship and strengthening the relationships between the SGB, the teachers and the students.

As this is a non-paying school, the kids are provided with one meal a day. The success of this hub can restore the dignity to a mom who will afford a packed lunch for her child.

“We aimed to help our parents as this, in turn, helps our learners. These parents are given a skill that cannot be taken from them, and they will show the community what can be achieved.

We will need extra sewing machines, saris, cotton and a basic training kit for all of the women who will be joining the project.” said Bertha Ramantsi school principal of Thabang Primary

Although the intention is to impact unemployment, we want to ensure that volunteers can also give of their time by coming forward and teaching a skill to these parents to further equip them.

“We would be honoured to have others join this journey of impacting this sharing economy through donating fabrics, sewing machines, help fund this training centre or partnering with us in entrepreneur training and business workshops. This is based on the power of collaboration, and we welcome all those who want to play a role in our sharing economy,” says Rayana Edwards

Sources: Shadi Mogole | Restoring Dignity  
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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