Our work’s sole purpose is to empower vulnerable women so that they become self-sustaining. In the first year of the programme, we sent graduands for internships for them to gain experience and get better chances of getting jobs. With the past group, Covid-19 made it impossible to even think of looking for internships and we had to innovate to keep the women motivated, so we added an entrepreurship module and then helped the women to start their own small enterprises.
The results have been very encouraging, and we are so pleased that even the women who later managed to get jobs are still running their small businesses and are now used to the concept of multiple streams of income.
Generally, the beneficiaries have newfound hope, believe in themselves, feel they have something to offer the world and most importantly, feel loved by their communities.
A highlight was the graduation ceremony for 5 women who successfully completed the course this year and went on to start their own small businesses. It was important for us to issue the women with certificates of attendance of the culinary course, in recognition of their perseverance and achievement.
It was a beautiful, intimate event and the graduantes were each allowed to bring along one or two family members. The most heartwarming part was witnessing how much the graduation had brought so much hope in the families and how the beneficiaries being on the Vheneka programme had helped the women mend relations with the families in some cases.