This year Reddam House, one of Cape Town’s most well regarded private schools will be putting on a production of Peter Pan as their primary school play. This is good news for Masiphumelele because the ladies of the Sewing Café have been tasked with producing 125 costumes for the grade 1 and 3 pupils involved.
The Sewing Café is located in a non-profit skills training centre on the edge of Masiphumelele and forms part of Masicorp’s adult education training program. The training program is managed by Athene Kannmeyer and offers 25 unemployed and unskilled members of the community the opportunity to develop their sewing skills with a view to starting their own business or joining the job market. Applicants are interviewed and can be accepted onto the one year course, which Masicorp has been able to keep free of charge.
During the course the students also learn essential English and IT skills. They start by producing an individual item of clothing as part of their own specific project. As they become more skilled there are more opportunities for commercial activities.
Recently in an attempt to increase the self sufficiency of the project the Sewing Café has launched its own website.
After already producing materials for local guest houses the project for Reddam House is their biggest commercial endeavour so far. Here is hoping for many projects to come their way in the future.