Evangeline Ministries runs a Life Skills program for disadvantaged women many of whom are HIV positive, from the township of Masiphumelele in Cape Town South Africa, to give them basic skills to improve their earning capacity and point them to Jesus Christ, the Hope of Life.
Since its start in 2006, Evangeline Ministries over 500 women and men have graduated from the program and received new sewing machines. EM has trained another 20 in other organizations. EM’s goal is to give HIV positive and other disadvantaged women from the township of Masiphumele and other townships, skills on which they can build with the goal to find jobs and earn income through sewing projects or computer competence,
EM’s goal is to train a maximum of 48 students annually to prepare them for jobs and entrepreneurial enterprises. It is also to introduce and strengthen their faith in a God who loves them in Jesus Christ.
In 2011 EM was invited to partner with the Masiphumelele Corporation and Trust which enabled us to double our potential students from 24 to 48 annually. They fund 50 per cent of the program for the increased students. EM is still responsible for raising its budget to support the basic program.
Starting January 2013, EM is now linked to an expanded sewing and income generating program, in the form of the Sewing Café. This effort is led by entrepreneur Athene Stephanou. Currently about 40 of EM’s sewing graduates have returned to participate in this program. It involves coming together two days a week and sewing projects that have been generated by businesses in the broader community. We have more graduates waiting for further training on EM industrial machines that have been seconded to Athene. Some of the products the graduates have made include mattress covers for crèches (day care centers) in Masa; bags for schools supported by MediaCorp, and there are orders for school uniforms and other sizeable contracts which enable the graduates to earn income. This promises to grow even more as Wendy continues to meet with other entrepreneurs who are looking for sewing labor.