Non-profits keep Masi children warm

Thandiwe Solwandle from The Sewing Café making a tracksuit.

A partnership between two non-profit organisations is keeping the children of Masiphumelele warm.

Masicorp, which raises about R170 000 annually to cover the costs of about 400 tracksuits for its uniform campaign, and The Sewing Café, a non-profit professional-apparel factory, provide Ukhanyo Primary School pupils with tracksuits.

“The reality of winter in Masiphumelele is that there are many children attending Ukhanyo Primary School whose parents cannot afford a school uniform,” said Masicorp’s Megan Pringle.

While it was only the beginning of winter, they had already run out of their usual supply of uniforms and needed about 100 more, she said.

Athene Stephanou-Knemeyer, the founder of The Sewing Café, said each of the employees involved in the project to supply tracksuits to Masicorp had received advanced training through The Sewing Café.

“It’s for the community from the community,” she said.

Masicorp subsidises the tracksuits so that parents can buy them for R170 instead of R400.

“Many tracksuits are gifted to families in need or during times of disaster when families have lost their homes in flooding or fires,” said Ms Pringle.

“These tracksuits are a source of pride for those who have sewn them, as they can see the fruit of their hard work being worn by the children of their own community,” she said.

Ukhanyo Primary School principal Michael Thyhali said there were more than 1 900 pupils at the school and most of their parents were unemployed and lived below the poverty line.

“Those tracksuits will keep our pupils warm and without the support of Masicorp, I don’t think Ukhanyo Primary School would have been able to help them. They always come to our rescue in times of need. They are always there for us,” he said.