On Saturday the 7th of July, the Masicorp team was invited to celebrate the graduation of 20 students from a six-month life skills programme run by Dr Wendy Ryan of the Evangeline Ministries. Masicorp is a proud partner of Evangeline Life Skills, supporting the project by raising additional funding.
Guests and graduates were welcomed by Wendy who shared some photos of the activities in which the group has been involved over the past six months. The graduates also showed off the garments which they had made during the course. The beautiful outfits were testament to the attention, care and guidance that Wendy, Namgamso, Paul and others have provided to these ladies, who, six months ago, had never used a sewing machine!
The programme was established in 2006 by Wendy when she saw a need for disadvantaged and HIV positive women and some men from Masiphumelele and other surrounding areas to learn a practical skill so they may be able to financially support themselves and their families. The programme has become increasingly well supported and has to date taught over 500 individuals valuable skills such as sewing, computers and English plus the all-important life skills including commitment, punctuality, self-confidence and faith in themselves and others.
Wendy invited some of the past and present graduates to share with the guests how this course has impacted their lives and set them on a positive path for the future. One such graduate, Phumza, completed the Evangeline course three years ago and has not only started making her own clothes, school uniforms and aprons, but she decided to enrol in a three-year Hospitality and Business programme, to further her studies. She is now the proud owner of her own catering company and has recently registered her business. Wendy explains that the confidence that this programme instils in these individuals is just as valuable as the skills which they learn over these six months and provides them with the much-needed hope and inspiration to further themselves. “It all started here at Evangeline,“ says Phumza. “I am so grateful, I just want to give back.”
The ceremony ended with the awarding of certificates, each graduate also receiving their own brand- new sewing machine. The machines were funded through generous support from various donors and will certainly make an impact in the lives of these women, allowing them to continue using the skills they have learnt during the programme.
Well done to Wendy, Mandisa, Paul and Namgamso and all who have assisted in creating better futures for these women.
To learn more about the work of Evangeline Ministries visit their website https://www.evangelineministries.org/