Leeuwkop Prison Upliftment Program
Since July 2019 we have been teaching at Medium C Leeuwkop prison with the intention to upskill and train them to be entrepreneurs later.
Their training involves various certificate levels of achievement being level 1 to level 5. Currently level 1 has been achieved by them. The skills are relevant to the chosen medium they are attending. Skills currently being taught are: Crochet, Beading, Leatherwork, Hand Sewing/Embroidery and Dressmaking.
This program is a business management program also giving them the skills to perform when released and ability to integrate back into society. Craft Academy aims to work with them to achieve successful entrepreneurs and by offering them outside employment in making and buying items from them. Extra classes will be performed from Craft Academy upon their release. They have the potential to earn money by keeping with the program after release from prison. Currently we have 1 ex offender in our employment.
Leeuwkop Maximum Prison skills programme has been a separate program because they are not allowed to do crochet or any skill with a potentially dangerous weapon. We currently have been teaching them hand embroidery.
Both teams have 40 to 50 students. Between the 2 groups we only have 10 sewing machines which is a challenge for us. No overlocker. We sorely need more.
Some of the items that are being made by them are shown below. All sponsorships, sales and commissions benefit this programme. Craft Academy aims to provide each successful offender completing the programme with his own sewing machine or overlocker depending on the need. Each offender receives a certificate on completion of each level and a report on his skills achievement.
All sales and donations of materials and equipment can be dropped off at 23 Judd Street, Horison Roodepoort or contact Allyson on 083 294 0356 for collections. Sponsoring 1 prisoner is possible by buying his tools and equipment for each level. A cost of R2500 per level per inmate. A basic sewing machine can also be sponsored for R2200. An Overlocker for R2500. Wool and fabric sponsorships is in desperate need. His progress will be shared with the sponsor.
THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CENTRE
In 2006, the vision of creating a training centre unique to the population of South Africa was born in the means of a dissertation for an MBA thesis.
In 2009, plans were put into place to roll out this vision. Over time “Craft and Business Academy” has been operating with the goal to become a community development centre. Helping unemployed, less advantaged and assisting them through sponsorships.
Starting as a quilting shop in 2009, teaching quilting, dressmaking, beading, textile art, crochet and knitting and adding haberdashery and wool into the shop in 2018, teaching prisoners at Leeuwkop prison in 2019, and now opening the doors to unemployed youth as from January 2020.
Craft Academy has taken on the YES program as offered by Afrika Tikkun Services to develop young people to become experienced in various aspects of business. The learners will walk with us as we teach them various crafts, business management skills and marketing of products to enable them to become entrepreneurs. This yearly program contributes to their holistic health of the person, their desires and transforms this into skill and business opportunity. Coupled with our joint ventures within the Non-Profit Organization space they will be exposed to various organizations and gain valuable experience in a year. Creating items for resale, learning pricing principles and learning to make products, selling online and at markets as well as take on commissions will transform them into businesspeople.
We rely on donations for our tools of trade and therefore all assistance is greatly appreciated. Items we need are sewing machines, over lockers, wool, fabrics, dress fabrics, scissors and rotary cutters and mats, haberdashery, crochet cottons and hooks, knitting equipment, leather, key rings, beads and craft related items.
Currently our age group is 18 to 29 years, however we have a desire to assist older people too, so sponsorships are sought for this purpose.
If you would like to sponsor an unemployed person, please contact us to arrange this. We also need sewing machine sponsorships for deserving individuals.
Our items for sale can be seen on the link below. Please support us so we can support the community.