PfP programme becomes a catalyst for change in Soweto school

A meaningful collaboration to develop skills has restored dignity for mothers in Dobsonville.


Catalyst change in Soweto school


The Partners for Possibility partnership between Business Leader Rayana Edwards and Principal Bertha Ramantsi at Thabang Primary has initiated ripples of change throughout the local community of Dobsonville. Rayana Edwards was introduced to the school through the Partners for Possibilty programme and now her skills development and entrepreneurial project, Saris for Change, has brought relief to out-of-work parents in the township.

‘’What started off as a beading workshop agreed between the principal of Thabang Primary school and Rayana Edwards, a business leader [from the] Partners for Possibility [programme], is turning out to be a fully fledged manufacturing hub for more than 20 unemployed women,’’ said chairperson of Thabang Primary School Governing Body, Shadi Mogole.

After the initial beading workshop, Saris for Change mobilised to provide a sewing machine and overlocker for the enterprise. Shadi and her team of ladies will use these to produce uniforms, tracksuits and sportswear for Thabang Primary and the surrounding schools. Shadi noted that the parents’ confidence and involvement at the school was at an all-time low before the start of this project, but that this has now changed as parents take up the opportunity to learn skills and create a revenue stream for themselves.

Principal Bertha Ramantsi said that the success of the project has restored dignity to one of the mothers who can now afford a packed lunch for her child. She added that: ‘’Although the intention is to impact unemployment, we also want to ensure that volunteers can also give of their time by coming forward and teaching a skill to these parents to further equip them. We would be honoured to have others join this journey of impacting this sharing economy through donating fabrics, sewing machines, helping to fund this training centre or partnering with us in entrepreneurial training and business workshops.”

Business Leader Rayana Edwards expressed the same sentiment: "This [project] is based on the power of collaboration and we welcome all those who want to play a role in our sharing economy."

*The original, full version of this article first appeared in The Star on 23 January 2020

Watch Business leader Rayana Edwards’ interview with eNCA >>>

30 November -1, 00:00