ITHEMBA WOMEN COORDINATOR’S REPORT
The journey of 2015/16 was a difficult one….the road was fraught with challenges around lack of commitment, social issues in communities creating sense of hopelessness amongst women as well as shifting group dynamics.
This however created the space for CDF WCape be creative and work smarter in their vision to empower women. It again made us realise that we can only be the vehicle towards Hope and that women need to make the choice to change their lives.
During the period under review the Ithemba Broad-based Ownership Trust increased capacity in terms of outreach, hence the decision to transfer Ursula Jeptha full-time to this portfolio. Community outreach inclusive of community grants for the following communities paid dividends:
This CBO held a successful holiday programme over four days for learners in the area. Bradley Gordon captured the images for the CDF WCape website.
Macassar community (enterprise development in the making)
Cotlands Women’s group became the recipient of the sewing machines after the Witte Water group defaulted. They received full training by representatives of ELNA Machines.
The donation of sewing equipment had more than one spin-off for the Cotlands women group. The women in the programme were invited to a nine-week empowerment programme called Shine Hope, at Hillsong church in Somerset. The programme focuses on helping women develop an understanding of their own personal worth, strength and purpose.
Another donation in the form of fabric came from Still Water. This will be used to produce bags and aprons for their market day. Work in progress is their application for a space at the Route 44 market in Stellenbosch. Steenberg / Lavender Hill and Manenberg women empowerment groups.
After the initial briefing sessions these groups were still unclear on what their focus as a collective or in smaller groups should be – work in progress with Ursula Jeptha in catalytic and guiding role. The idea of a Cooperative structure is under investigation and the group attended two informative working sessions.
Kingdom Kidz Ministries in Lotus River is an organisation that operates in the Lotus River and Schaapkraal area since 2008. Although registered, the project does not receive any funds and the coordinator, Ms Vanessa Jooste with her volunteers of women run the projects for children, and teen mums. They started a Soil for Life household garden project with the focus to generate income for families.
Despite this, groups such as Cotlands and Masithembele continue to lead the way in placing Hope centre stage. The new engagements with organisations such as The Gift Foundation, Kidz Ministries, City of Palms lifted the energy and set us again on the path of Hope for 2016.
Our plans for 2016 are clear: have community engagements, challenge and empower women to take control of their destiny, build on what exists and keep moving. Marketing the programme is pivotal and with this comes an improved branding process. The logo is a work in progress and should be ready by end of July 2016.