Page 9 - Thetha Issue 6
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               Sewing project

               empowering well-being

                  nother tangible expression
                  of engagement over the
            ACOVID-19 pandemic has
            been the sewing project, which falls
            under Hub Four: Community-based
            Economic Initiatives.
               At the onset of the pandemic
            in 2020, the University began a
            campaign called Mask-Up Mandela,
            driving awareness about protective
            measures against the disease, such
            as wearing a mask to prevent the
            spread of infection.              A sewing project seamstress hard at work
               This campaign connected with
            another University project on sewing   Today, masks are no longer a   Funding towards this project
            within marginalised communities.   legal requirement and the sewing   helps to provide logistical support
            Specifically, the project created   project has channelled its resources   such as transport, stationery,
            economic opportunities that       to another venture that enhances   catering and printing. It also
            supported small-scale production of   health and well-being. It is now   contributes to consultations for
            reusable cloth masks.             exploring methods of providing    strategic sessions  and workshops
               The Faculty of Education’s     reusable cloth pads and/or menstrual   on the solidarity economy,
            Centre for the Community School,   cups to women in South Africa who   cooperatives, and funding proposal
            the Association for the Physically   cannot afford to buy them.     development.
            Disabled and 12 community schools    Seed-funding is now being sought   It is part of the Hubs’ mechanisms
            from the Manyano Network worked   to upskill community members with   for community engagement that
            alongside each other to produce   not only sewing, but also business   build relationships across sectors
            fabric masks while the threat of   skills, and the necessary resources to   and facilitate community access to
            infection was at its highest.     start a small enterprise.         information and resources.

                    he Zwide Development      of South Africans in 2020 were    work of the Zwide Development
                    Forum and the Hubs of     already affected by moderate to   Forum, which  encompasses a
               TConvergence have joined       severe food insecurity.           broader range of projects that
               hands to address economic         With food security and nutrition   aim to strengthen community
               challenges in the community    seriously threatened over COVID-19   assets and voices by placing social
               through the Zwide Community    pandemic, more people have been   impact and responsibility in their
               Farming project.               going hungry. Today, the picture is   own hands.
                  This urban farming project   likely to be even bleaker.         The Zwide Community
               falls under Hub Five – Community   In the face of this, the Hubs of   Development Project envisions the
               Driven Projects –  and Hub Two:   Convergence recognises hunger and   establishment of developmental
               Food Security – as it focuses on   poverty as grand social challenges   projects which are looking for
               supporting the community to    that cannot be ignored, and part of   support in the following areas:
               produce food in a healthy and   the response is a growing movement
               sustainable way.               of partnerships in community-based   •  Skills development centre
                  It is one of the projects to   food systems.                  •  Community kitchens and home
               be highlighted at the Mandela     A key feature of this focuses   gardening
               Day Launch in July 2022, in    on the work that communities are   •  Educational academy
               collaboration with the Nelson   doing in establishing, improving and   •  Arts and culture
               Mandela Foundation.            maintaining access to sustainable   development centre
                  According to Statistics South   and affordable food.          •  Sports academy
               Africa, almost one quarter (23.6%)   Urban farming is one facet of the   •  Environmental programmes.

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