“At the Emdeni Skills Centre, we strive to be the stepping stone, for our youth, to the next level of their journey and career”- Kuphela Baduza, Emdeni Skills Centre manager. The skills acquired at the centre are entry level and rarely qualify our students for permanent long term employment. However, these skills, do give them access to opportunities that qualify them for learnerships and bridging courses. Many of our students are from homes dependent on social grants and securing a commitment fee of R350 for a course, at times is difficult.
State funding helps to supplement the cost but that also does not cover everything. In the end it is donors, who invest in the training of students that make the programme possible. With the support of their facilitators and financial backing of donors, our students are able to access life changing opportunities and are a step closer to escaping the poverty trap and take their families along.
One course that has given many of our students access to great opportunities is the Assistant Chef course facilitated by Patrick Mabalane. Some of our Assistant Chef students already have catering businesses and have come to brush up on their skills. Our students recently laid the table for our guests at the Business Breakfast and others have used their new found skills at huge events such as the South African president’s inauguration. So, it came as no surprise when six of our students from the course were accepted into the Professional Cookery Programme at the prestigious Capsicum Culinary Studio.
Katlego Morweng, Nontuthuzelo Rozani, Mbali Dhlamini, Noxolo Molefe, Thandiwe Mazibuko and Thuli wake up early every morning knowing that they have been given a chance to fulfil their dreams. These young women are from similar backgrounds. They come from one parent households or were raised by a grandparent. Family members are unemployed and depend on social grants. An opportunity such as this means the world to these students as some of them did not complete Matric, went to under privileged schools and are the first or second person in their family to progress beyond secondary school.
The women had to go through a gruelling interview process that taught them a lot. “I was very scared initially, but was made to feel relaxed and welcomed. I learnt about the different opportunities and levels within this industry”, says one student.
As of 3 August 2019, these former students began their training at Capsicum. They have emphasised how this opportunity has made them feel special and privileged. “This means a lot to me and has changed my life. I’ve always wanted to be a chef. This will kick start my career and help make my family proud. I’m the second one in my family to study further”, says Mbali Dhlamini.
“Our students need more opportunities like this. Working with a company like Capsicum validates what we do and the skills we offer. It shows the community that the services we provide are beneficial. These kinds of opportunities give our students something to aim for and work towards”, says Kuphela.
Asked what they plan on doing upon completion of the programme at Capsicum, the students had this to say:
“I want to cater for canteens and events” – Thandiwe.
“I have a registered catering business, but still need capital to get it off the ground. I will be working towards that” – Katlego.
“I want to find a job that will help me grow and sharpen my skills. I would like to save enough money to eventually have my own Bed & Breakfast business” – Mbali.
“We are very proud of our girls and wish them well on their next step into the culinary industry. We are sure that the dreams and visions they have for their careers will come to fruition”, says Kuphela.
If you want to invest in the future of young people in Soweto, please speak to one of the Social Funding Developers at Abraham Kriel Bambanani. Tel. no 011 839-3058 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org