Gift enables centre to extend its skills and empowerment projects

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Goodwill Industries South Africa will now provide training workshops in upholstery making and woodwork to the physically disabled after the gift of sewing and woodworking equipment by the Egoli region of South African Breweries.

The project's focus is to motivate, develop and empower the physically disabled through training in handbag, curtain, pillow and upholstery making, as well as carpentry and computer assembly.

Angela Kgasago, SAB's corporate social investment coordinator for the Egoli region, said the move was part of SAB's social development programme.

"SAB is proud to be part of this project," she said.

Kgasago said the protected workshops should be recognised not only for their great benefit to the participants involved in the project, but also for the inspiration these individuals in turn provided to their families and communities.

Started in 1963 to support and empower polio victims, the organisation's training centre has grown over the years to help all physically disabled individuals who are referred to it by clinics throughout the region.

Project manager Ernest Gumbi said that though the project currently had 115 participants, there were many other individuals waiting to join the workshops. The inclusion of these people will only be possible through funding and support from the community.

"We want to train and motivate more people to be able to take care of themselves, but we don't have the funds. With SAB's donation of sewing and woodworking machinery, we will be able to expand on these projects," Gumbi said.

With continued corporate and public support, Goodwill Industries hopes to be able to accommodate more participants in its workshops and to later become involved in the leather and glass manufacturing industries, he said.

"It is our aim to grow big enough so that we can help all the people that need training. In the future we hope to affiliate ourselves with Goodwill Industries International so that our work receives international exposure," Gumbi said.