As part of the Covid19 relief project and with the goal of promoting local economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, three seamstresses were identified from the communities neighbouring Thanda Safari, namely Mandlakazi and Mdletsheni. These Gogo’s (Grandmothers), together with young assistants recruited from the surrounding areas, undertook to sew 750 masks for Thanda Foundation Trust.
The seamstresses were supplied with detailed instructions as well as the fabric and cotton needed for the enterprise. Two-hundred and forty of these face masks were included with the food parcels donated to local communities, three-hundred and sixty were bought by Thanda Safari for their staff and one-hundred and fifty were purchased by Star For Life – Aid’s Free that’s Me staff.
One of the key difficulties for these seamstresses is purchasing fabric in their rural areas therefore along with the fabric for the seven-hundred and fifty face masks additional fabric was provided so that masks may be sewn and sold by these enterprising ladies to the local communities.
Mama Thwala was extremely grateful for the opportunity afforded to her and her five young assistants and in her own words expressed how important empowerment is within the rural communities. “Finally, an organisation that wants to lift me up as a businesswomen and is not only giving a handout”.
Gogo Msane thanked Thanda for the opportunity to be a part of the project as for the first time she had her entire family assisting her, including her husband, as the partnership showed her that her business could actually prosper.
The initiative has been so successful that the Thanda Foundation Trust will continue to assist these ladies with accessing fabric and a sample order has already been placed for buff’s to be used at Thanda Safari.