Expanding our sustainable livelihoods programme

The BI recently added an additional income generating project to our ‘sustainable livelihoods’ portfolio. It is one of ten new income generating projects that we will be piloting (and documenting) over the next 3 years, with the support of Old Mutual. The ten ideas were informed by research conducted in the village in 2008.

The latest addition is a sewing project – which currently provides an income to 5 families in Nqileni. The sewing team was trained by a visiting volunteer and initially focused on producing items to be sold through a shop at the Bulungula Lodge. These items include traditional skirts, money bags, water bottle holders, cell phone pouches, laptop bags, and shorts.

The sewing team hard at work

The sewing team hard at work

The project has now expanded to produce items on order and recently completed an order of over 500 large bags for a national training programme.

The bags are made of denim and Shwe-shwe

The bags are made of denim and Shwe-shwe

They include lining, padded arm strap, cell phone pouch and pen holders!

They include lining, padded arm strap, cell phone pouch and pen holders!

The sewing team is now working on orders of hats and cushion covers for the preschool, and replenishing their stock in the Bulungula shop.

The project has not been without its challenges, but we are learning on the trot. We hope to develop good systems to enable us to grow this initiative and ensure long term sustainable income for these families. Please contact us if you’d like to place an order – perhaps for year end corporate gifts or family xmas presents with a difference….

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