Pencil Cases
Photo Credit: Turquoise Harmony Institute

A sewing class project has threaded through the Cape Flats, and with the first class of creations (pencil cases) the up-skilling experience didn’t just result in cute stationery holders, but bags for big dreams:


Cape Flats, South Africa (22 March 2024) — It’s wonderful to think that items as simple as pencil cases can hold so much opportunity if they’re in the right hands.

For many women who gathered in the Cape Flats, pencil cases marked more than creative work gone well or a positive ‘craftswomanship’ experience, but an upskilling opportunity that could thread a path out of financial strain and poverty.

Thanks to the community organisation Turquoise Harmony Institute (THI), the first of what will hopefully be many more sewing classes were officially launched for women of underserved areas earlier this week on 18 March. Led by people who want to provide the tools of skillsets for individuals to uplift themselves through creativity and practicality, it was an opportunity not only to dabble in the tailor’s corner but one that showed women in areas where hope can be so easily undermined, that it is still theirs for the taking. And better yet—the path to hope does not need to be complicated.

After a lot of hard work to facilitate the classes, the venue was secured and the equipment was ready rock. The first class saw women learn how to make their very own pencil cases, which became much more than little bags for stationary, but little bags for big dreams.

This is just one of so many projects around South Africa that are helping people up-skill themselves out of poverty; helping equip people with skills to progress into their own businesses and hopefully, become success stories like Vuyokazi Majali.

“Inequality is one of the most significant causes of division in South Africa and lack of skills is one of the biggest contributors to underdevelopment and poverty,” shared THI. The community organisation shares that by providing skills programmes, they hope to “address the challenge of inequality” and create a society that operates on harmony.

Sources: Turquoise Harmony Institute 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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