Sustainable development in education in Africa has to find innovative forms which are adapted to the circumstances. Examples of these are society structure and historical development.
Since 2013 we have been working in South Africa with underprivileged women and children who are living in the townships of Cape Town. Many of them have migrational backgrounds. Our focus is on ARTISTIC SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION PROJECTS.
Why artistic education projects?
We believe in using innovative teaching and learning models which are adapted to the needs of the underprivileged and those working in the informal sector. Our focus is on young women who have often given up their search for work after becoming disillusioned. They work as day laborers and domestic workers but their potential for economic and social development goes unused.
In South Africa there is hardly any vocational skills training. Often courses have a strong theoretical focus and do not teach people how to set up a business. The courses offer qualifications that fail to correspond to the skills and capabilities sought by the labour market. We want to change this, by teaching young people from disadvantaged groups, social, cognitive and emotional skills, in order to increase their long term employability. Therefore we offer programs where they can learn the skills of a tailor within 2-6 months.
Presently we are collecting sewing machines in Switzerland which we will ship to South Africa. We have the use of already existing classrooms in the library of Masiphumulele Township. This enables participants to walk there, since transport is always a problem.
The artistic part of the program lies in the design of the products. The participants will be involved in designing new and innovative products, using materials which are made in South Africa. These will then be exported back to Switzerland for the Swiss market.
Our plan is to have a sustainable program. The participants are only motivated to invest in a training which will allow them to earn sufficient income later on. After the successful vocational training, they can get employment with our organization. This enables the families to pay for the education of their children.
In a globalized world with streams of migrants, we are facing transculturalisation. We want to highlight this as a visible benefit being carried out in the idea of the consequent creation of new cultural phenomena of our products for the Swiss market.
In order to fulfill this goal we need sustainable leadership and qualified volunteers. We offer our Artist in Residence as a hub and training centre for volunteers.
Our project offers the following:
Phase 1 : Vocational Training
Training for 30 participants from Masiphumulele.
2 x teachers.
1 x manager.
6 x volunteers from Switzerland.
The duration of this phase is 2 months.
Phase 2 : Employment
Participants are employed by us.
Use of a sewing studio & machines.
Hourly/ daily wages.
Phase 3 : Retail of products
We export the products to Switzerland.
Create a market for retail.
Profits will be put back into the project.
At this stage, we are focusing on Phase 1.
It is crucial for us to get sufficient funding, in order to build a solid foundation for our project.
We are working in close collaboration with the following organizations in Masiphumulele, Cape Town: