Monday, February 7, 2011

Sewing up a storm in Cullinan

Thursday 3 February, Pretoria One of the country’s leading manufacturers of consumer goods, Unilever is offering a number of NGOs around the country a positive start to the year with the opportunity to increase earning power in their communities.

During the next two weeks no less than 400 sewing machines will be donated by SURF to a number of charities in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, empowering women at the NGOs to create an income for themselves and their families.

Ethne Whitley, public affairs manager of Unilever, says handovers have ranged between three and 50 sewing machines at charities throughout the provinces. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to empower women, giving them a good start to 2011.”

Whitley adds, “One of Unilever’s 12 Product of the Year awards winners, SURF is offering NGOs the substance and capacity to help their communities through skills development and increased income.”

The Sizakele Creations project in Cullinan received 10 sewing machines from the SURF team. Sizakele was founded 10 years ago with the aim of empowering community members to improve their sewing skills, income earning capacity and their ability to support themselves.

For the last four years the NGO has been working together with South African Fashion Week’s DAC Fashion Fusion Project. The SAFW focus is on developing designers and fusing design with fashion, and top local designers such as Clive Rundle, Amanda Laird-Cherry and Soda have worked with Sizakele since the project launched.

Ester Scholz, spokesperson for Sizakele, says “Since Sizakele was founded, the group has completed many jobs, large and small, and we would like to see it expand to accommodate more workers, therefore the addition of more sewing machines will be a great advantage.

“At Sizakele Creations, we are always looking to make the most of our opportunities and turn each one into a small victory for our crafters and our creative community.”

Whitley concludes, “SURF’s handover of sewing machines will make a difference to hundreds of families during 2011.”

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