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Skills and Development2018-04-05T14:33:10+00:00

TRAINING AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

Clover Mama Afrika Trust, together with our various project partners invest in skills development training not only for our Mamas, but also for members of their communities whom they nominate. Our annual roadshow, sponsored by MiX Telematics, provides us the opportunity to visit each Mama and assess her progress and needs. New skills are introduced when they are identified as viable opportunities for the Mamas and their communities.

Bread Baking Project

Bread is the staple diet for many people in South Africa, as such, it is one of our most successful self-help projects to date and consist of a two-week training course presented by Siyabonga Africa. The project gives the Mamas the opportunity to feed their members, generate sufficient income, and employ members of their community.

After successful completion of the course, the centre is provided with the necessary equipment to run a mini bakery, consisting of an electric oven, workbench, proofer, mixer, and the startup ingredients for 100 loaves. We also then provide additional training to expand the bakeries’ product offering.

Cooking and Baking Courses

We provide training beneficiaries with basic cooking skills and offer advanced and more specialised courses such as cake baking and cake decorating. The skills acquired has resulted in many Mamas starting a catering service, adding to their income, and providing employment to community members.

The courses also include meal costing, ingredient selection, dish presentation, cooking theory, personal and food hygiene, and cleanliness of the kitchen and appliances. The starter kit for these courses includes Kenwood Major Mixer and general kitchen appliances and accessories with some centres also receiving new stoves and ovens.

Flower arrangement

The flower arrangement workshop resulted from the cooking and baking course with many centres offering catering services for various functions such as weddings, christenings and funerals. The opportunity arose for the centres to provide affordable flower arrangements for these functions while also turning a profit and providing additional employment.

Flower Connexion facilitates the workshops we host during the year in Johannesburg, while Gerda Tuffin from Cape School of Floristry volunteers her skill and expertise for the annual courses held during our annual Smarties Week.

Food Gardens

This intensive two or three-day training course is presented by either Reel Gardening and Food & Trees for Africa or Cobus Smit. It teaches the Mamas to grow vegetables by optimising their space with limited resources. Course topics include water use and conservation, nutrition and pest control without poison.

The course is aimed not only at enabling the Mamas but also to empower entire communities; this is achieved by training the unemployed and providing them with seed packs and garden tools to start their own organic gardens intended on expansion and generating income to become self-sufficient.

Pottery

Mama Dawn Irons in Ubombo is the only Mama who trains community members to provide top quality one-of-a kind ceramic and pottery works. In support of her endeavor, the Clover Mama Afrika Trust provided her with a fully operating kiln, turning tops and other supplies.

The Gauteng Mamas received New Earth pottery training in 2016 that includes newspaper and cement. This skill has enabled the Mamas to produce neat pots of all shapes and sizes from recycled paper.

Poultry & Egg Laying Project

The Poultry & Egg laying project was identified as a viable income generating project for the Mamas who had space to operate and run the programme successfully. Siyabonga Africa facilitates the weeklong training session to educate the Mamas on the proper care and feeding of the chickens. They also analyse the premises and space available to build the appropriate structure and installs the battery operating and climate-controlled confinement.

After the construction and training have been completed, the centre receives 200 to 500-layer hens (depending on the size of the structure) as well as sufficient food and all the necessary disinfectant and cleaning agents.

Sewing Project

Bernina SA provides all the sewing courses starting with a two-week beginners training session that teaches trainees to operate both the sewing and overlock machine. Afterwards, they return for the advanced and more progressive training. By the end of the year, training beneficiaries have acquired the knowledge and skill to complete tracksuits, skirts, jackets as well as evening dresses.

We offer additional workshops such as the Denim Drive, where we teach sewers how to work with this tricky fabric to produce fast sellable denim items such as bags and aprons. The sewing starter kit includes a Bernina sewing machine and an overlocker with accessories, and they receive material off-cuts on a regular basis.

Quilting

This skill was identified as beneficial to the Western and Northern Cape communities but due to demand, has grown into a nationwide endeavour. Facilitators Rachel du Toit of Swellendam and Prof Elain Vlok provide Mamas and their nominated training beneficiaries beginners, intermediate, and various advanced courses to expand their product offering.

Trained members, in turn, empower other members of their respective communities by teaching them to sew and have a production line at their centres to streamline the process. We market these exquisite handmade items locally, but they are particularly popular in the overseas market.

ADDED VALUE WORKSHOPS/ SELF-HELP PROJECTS

Art workshop

A one-day art course was introduced in 2007 in the Eastern Cape with five Mamas participating, the results surpassed all expectations, leaving the Mamas surprised at their talent. The positive feedback resulted in a unanimous decision to offer the course to all Mamas annually during Smarties Week with training facilitator, Ezette van der Merwe, from Creative Heartz in Port Elizabeth.

This skill has become a fun way to raise funds and is applied as a therapeutic resource for the disabled in the Mama’s care.

Basic Finance Management

The sustainable growth experienced with the skills implemented at the various centres, made it evident that the Mamas need additional assistance to improve the management and profitability of their projects.

It also provides an opportunity to emphasise the importance of our “Evaluation Process,” which maintains the prime objective of sustainable growth. Currently, all skills training provided include basic business and finance management and marketing sessions.

Beadwork

Clover Mama Afrika supports all centres that are actively involved in beadwork by supplying them with workshops and beading accessories to improve their product offerings and income earning potential to make the project more sustainable.

Crocheting Workshops

Crochet workshops enable our Mamas to empower other community members by passing along this skill. We teach training beneficiaries the basics of crocheting, but individual creativity has led members to make many trendy crochet items.

The starter kit includes crochet wool and a needle, shoe soles, and leather straps.

Hairdressing

The team of Terenzo Hairdressing Professionals facilitates an intense week of training to provide the Mamas and their members with the necessary skill to open a hair salon.

The centre receives a fully equipped salon that includes basins, chairs, mirrors, hair dryers, hair straighteners, brushes, combs, and startup products.

Mosaic

The Mosaic skill was introduced during our annual Smarties Week in 2014 after being identified as an added value skill that the Mamas can use to cost effectively create sellable items using broken tiles.

The training is facilitated by either Nadine van der Merwe of Charlotte Coetzer and is presented at Smarties Week every year. The starter kit includes grout, glue, a cutter and mosaic tiles.

Smarties Week

Smarties Week, aptly named because of the different Mamas coming together to learn new skills; or sharpen up on existing skills is held annually. It provides us the opportunity to come together, learn together and share our difficulties and triumphs.

Smarties week is an entire week of added value skills development training. The week culminates to a prestigious gala evening where Clover Exco, project partners and Mamas celebrate the year’s achievements.

Welding

As a result of our annual roadshow, welding was identified as a valuable income generating skill for three Mamas. Thanks to the training provided by Bisho Steel in Port Elizabeth, these three Mamas have become very capable welders and have transferred this skill to various members in their communities.

Between the three of them, their welding businesses provides employment to 20 community members. The starter kit includes safety goggles and boots, overalls and a mobile welding kit with welding rods.