At the bottom of Lekkerwater Road, Work for Love has been doing what Khalil Gibran described in the early 1900s: the Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer said love is work made visible, and
that is what this organisation aspires to.
Work For Love is a holistic skills development, job creation and child care organisation for low income parents – and their children up to the age of eight.
At Chameleon Gardens – a two-acre property next to Masiphumelele – Work for Love offers holistic skills development, job creation and child care; especially for unemployed parents and their children.
Founder of the programme, Nicola Cox, was inspired by the words of Rudolf Steiner who said: “Our highest endeavour is to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility – these three forces are the very nerve of education.”
Work for Love now runs courses that teach families how to learn to earn. “Many families from neighbouring Masiphumelele have already benefited from their courses,” says spokesperson for the school, Melanie Steyn.
Sewing, baking, and business skills are among the skills taught, and this year, Work for Love have added a school.
At the Work For Love School there is a lawn which the children use to play and do classroom-related activities, as well as a beautiful view of the mountains beyond the wetlands.
“It is a children’s paradise but just a few metres from our threshold lies a place that is far from being a paradise, not only for the children but for everyone who lives there,” Work for Love says on its website, which describes Masiphumelele as a struggling community.
“We already cater to this community with adult skills development programmes and now are expanding to include a kindergarten and a primary school. Children from Masiphumelele who cannot afford to attend schools beyond their community are extremely disadvantaged,” Ms Steyn said.
A problem that has been identified by Work for Love is that schools are overwhelmed with numbers of pupils and the lessons are in Xhosa, which means that there are serious disadvantages for pupils when they enter the workplace or move to an English medium school and their English is not at acceptable levels.
The Work For Love Family Centre targets caregivers living in poverty such as single moms, grandmothers and single fathers. The training offered covers job creation skills and child care.
“What we want is that all the parents who pass through our school to be able to do fulfilling work and sustain and support their family,” Ms Steyn said.
“We believe that a support-
ive family is safe, socially active,
economically sustainable, emo-
tionally stable and spiritually
Their philosophy is to learn to earn – to encourage a hand up; not a handout.
For more information visit: workforlove.co.za or call 071 355 4637 or email: school@work