Empowering women in Masiphumelele

Participants in the Evangeline Life Skills Course at a graduation ceremony where they wore their own hand-made garments.

Education and life-skills training play a vital role in helping women from Masiphumelele succeed, says Masicorp, a local non-profit organisation.

The organisation’s spokesman, Craig Meyer, said women in the community were working hard to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.

According to Mr Meyer, 70% of Masicorp’s International Computer Driver’s License (ICDL) course graduates are women. The course helps Masiphumelele residents navigate the complexities of computer technology to prepare them for the workplace.

“Despite the challenges that many residents from Masiphumelele face, they are determined to complete the course and earn their certification. Empowering women with computer skills is the key to helping them reach new heights, especially in the digital age where computers are the backbone of today’s modern economy,” Mr Meyer said

Another way Masicorp is empowering women is through teacher training at the creches it runs in the community.

“Our ECD staff comprise solely of women and in this way, we are raising the status of women in Masiphumelele through education, awareness, literacy, and training,” Mr Meyer said.

Masicorp’s teacher training has seen six teachers qualify for their level four ECD qualification in 2021 and some of them are now on their way to becoming fully qualified teachers.

“Some started as domestic workers, but through hard work and determination, they are teaching children and now have the kind of support and training that will help them advance. Empowering women is all about equal access to opportunity,” Mr Meyer said.

The Evangeline Life Skills Course provides entrepreneurial training, teaching sewing, computer training, and English language skills over six months.

Mr Meyer said that in order to graduate, participants had to sew and model their own authentic, handmade garments.

“All the graduates receive a free sewing machine sponsored by Masicorp and this is the beginning of a journey for so many. It gives women from Masi the opportunity to create and add value to their community, with the possibility of even turning their love of sewing into a business and becoming an entrepreneur,” he said.

The graduates also have the option to come back and learn advanced sewing techniques.

Amahle Mkhumbuzi an ICDL course participant said: “I am learning computers for the first time and it is my hope that I am going to find a full-time job with the skills that I have learned.”

Chasmy Educare student teacher Zoleka Mayiya used to be a domestic worker.

“It was always my dream to teach children and with the support from Masicorp, I am now on my way to becoming a fully qualified teacher,” she said.

To find out more about Masicorp, visit www.masicorp.org or call 087 701 5054.