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Etafeni Day care Centre Trust Stitches Nyanga Community Together

By NDA (National Development Agency)

Against the backdrop of increased levels of unemployment, gender-based violence and low illiteracy rates amongst children, interventions are needed within communities. In the notorious township of Nyanga, lies a beacon of hope for women, children and orphans. The Etafeni Day Care Centre Trust (EDCCT) formed in 2001, provides a safe space for these vulnerable groups to access quality education afterschool programmes, social welfare support and skills development.

An array of services are offered free to the community, including early childhood development services; unemployed youths have access to life skills programmes and women undergo skills training that allows them to access jobs or start their own enterprises.

The National Development Agency (NDA), an entity of the Department of Social Development, has granted funds to the value of R386 775, 86 for expansion of the Sewing Skills Training and Income Generation Programme that provides accredited technical sewing skills. Started in 2022, the programme has trained over 100 women to date and 46 have since established home-based sewing enterprises and others are employed at sewing factories. As part of the Ministerial Outreach Programme in the Western Cape, the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, visited the Centre to handover a cheque for the funding granted by the NDA.

The grant funding will ensure that a new group of 15 women undergo and graduate from the training programme. On completion, these women will be empowered to register formalised businesses and receive start-up kits with sewing machines, fabric and haberdashery to begin or improve their home-based sewing enterprises. Further, 4 Etafeni staff members will obtain SAQA accreditation as facilitators, moderators and assessors with the Education Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA). Lastly, upgrade and maintenance to the existing training workshop machinery will be undertaken.

“The importance of Centres like Etafeni should not be ignored, they are an impressive institution that caters and responds to the needs of their immediate community. I am particularly encouraged by the deliberate intent to care for and protect children through their early childhood development (ECD) centre and in-house programmes such as the play and group therapies offered by professionals. The past 30-years have shown us that communities are able to come together to find solutions to their problems. I would like to congratulate the staff of Etafeni for the good work they are doing, ECD is a national priority for this country and the Social Development department continues to offer to children of 0-4

years,” said Minister Zulu.

She further encouraged the women partaking in the sewing programme to follow their dreams and really use the start-up kits they will receive to make a difference in their lives. One of the participants, Malipuo Cabadiya’s life changed for the better since completing the sewing programme. “I was depressed and had no purpose to live before. I had never touched a sewing machine before I came here and with the generosity and support of other women, I am now a qualified seamstress who is proud and confident. I am looking forward to receiving my starter kit so that I can really improve my productivity. Currently, we are all sharing the machines and are only able to access them during working hours.

“At the NDA, we firmly believe in the transformative power of cooperatives and community-owned enterprises as a cornerstone of our strategy to eradicate poverty and uplift marginalized communities. Cooperatives and community owned enterprises embody the principles of collective ownership, providing a sustainable mechanism for economic empowerment and social cohesion. By supporting and fostering cooperatives and community owned enterprises, we align our efforts with our core mandate to address poverty at its roots, creating opportunities for income generation, skills development, and resource sharing within communities,” says Ardiel Soeker, NDA Western Cape Provincial Manager.

Etafeni’s other programmes are afterschool programme, women wellness and income generation, home food gardens programme, social work and community development programme, Power Girls programme, community and Home-Based Care programme and Fit for life Fit for work programme.


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