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Help building Skills Development Center

by TransCape NPO
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Help building Skills Development Center
Help building Skills Development Center
Help building Skills Development Center
Jan 6, 2020

Year-end report

"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears." - Nelson Mandela. 

We see in the Mankosi community an incredibly complex unemployment crisis that has been taking hold of generations. We also see powerful and inspiring people who don't need much to get out of poverty, these people give us the hope for an honest South Africa and giving us the courage to make the Skills Development Center a success.  

In this last newsletter of the year we are looking back at the past twelve months and also set our goals for 2020. 

The curriculum 

The Skills Development Center (SDC) has a unique curriculum which offers tools divided in five steps which guide a participant towards an income for life. 

 The five steps towards a sustainable income.

1.    Own an idea

Very little infrastructure and industry in the area makes it challenging for the local youth to find jobs or even have a good business idea. To think out-of-the-box and a great amount of creativity and inspiration is needed. We have brought in young entrepreneurs who have the same background to share their stories and hold workshops about their learnings and success. Furthermore, professional creatives will hold workshops to broaden horizons and open minds.

2.    Define idea & skill

This is about analysing the idea, target groups, select appropriate skills and creating an adapted learning program. Our team will mentor and guide the participant to refine the idea and highlight what is needed and expected.

3.    Learning program

Our aim is that the learning programs are no longer than one year per participant. We will focus on building the businesses and/or arranging practicals in the work environment at the same time.

4.    Microfinance/ Career guidance

Start-up capital can be obtained through microfinance, when the candidates are ready to establish their businesses. CVs can be sent out and job readiness workshops held.

5.    Sustainable job

We feel responsible to give guidance and conduct follow-ups with all businesses and job placements. Close monitoring is key especially for the new businesses. Early detection of any kind of issues and problems is important and can be contested in time.

Goal for 2020:

Within every step of the curriculum we assist with hard skills and soft skills. With hard skills we mean the practical skills like learning how to speak english or how to use a sewing machine. With soft skills we mean how to be on time for a job interview or how to deal with responsibility. Our goal for 2020 is that the SDC will professionalise the tools in place, within the hard - and soft skills to provide maximum guidance for the participants.


The building for the Skills Development Center

At this moment the sewing machine of the SDC are going around the village, because we do not yet have our own location. This is not an ideal situation and we are looking for the right partners who could help us with the funding. 

In the meantime we are starting a collaboration with Sophie en Sven employed by GroupA architects in The Netherlands. Sophie and Sven are passionate about sustainable design and they agreed to design the Skills Center for us! We feel incredibly lucky to work with these two talents and inspired to see how they used their skills for a good cause. 

Goal for 2020

Our aim is that we will start building in 2020. This is why we explore every possible way to raise the needed funds to make the building possible. Please let us know if you have any connections or idea’s and send an email to 


Adult, Training and Education (ATE)

It is important that we offer the right skills for the participants and that is why we started a collaboration with ATE. ATE is a governmental program and offers a wide range of hard skills for people living in rural areas. A perfect collaboration it seems, we will see how it will develop. 

Goal for 2020:

We will do our utmost to make this collaboration a success and that the local community will benefit the most.  

Development sewing skills

  • We are working together with a professional fashion designer Lisa from Mthatha. Lisa is talented and passionate about rural sewing skill development and give short trainings for a friendly price. 
  • Nomandla and Nosphelele, two woman living in Mankosi community, joined the team for developing the sewing program. These women get training from Lisa and learned how to work with an electric sewing machine, overlocker, a bag, how to make men’s and women's trousers. This creates a little bit of income for the SDC. 

Goal for 2020:

We will continue to train Nomandla and Nosphelele in a way that suits their family life and the needs of the Mankosi community. For now the focus lies in training Nomandla and Nosphelele and make them comfortable with the machines and the new techniques. In 2020 we will focus on transfer the learned products to youth in Mankosi who need an income.


Development drivers license program

Daniel is a valuable team member and in charge of the development of the Drivers License program. Last year he fully deployed as volunteer to shape the program, he is now ready to help his community and share his experience on how to get a driver's license. Although Daniel is a confident driver he does not have his driver's license. For some people this might seem strange, but in rural South Africa much is possible.      

At this moment, Daniel is busy learning for his drivers license and we already learning an important lesson. South Africa is plagued by a lot of corruption and this happens on a large but also on a small scale. This is the reason why it is impossible in the nearest cities to get your driver's license without “paying extra”. We believe all problems in South Africa will disappear without corruption and that is why will not take part in it and find a solution elsewhere.  

Goal for 2020

We expect that Daniel will get his driver's license soon because he deserves it and not because he “paid extra”. In 2020 we hope we will have enough funding to afford our own car, in the meantime we will rent a car so Daniel can start with the lessons.


Development in the computer courses

The computer courses will be outsourced by Mictseta. Mictseta is an organisation which is specialized in organizing computer courses with the challenges that come with living in a rural area. The courses will be no longer than 10 days and with their knowledge of the local language and culture, they will be the perfect partner to transfer the skill to the people of Mankosi. There are still a few obstacles to overcome when setting up these workshops, such as the lack of power and the availability of a suitable space.   

Goal for 2020:

We aim to start our first computer workshop in 2020.


Agroecology - a short introduction 

Why Agroecology? And why does it works?

Agroecology is one of many terms people use to describe an approach to sustainable farming – others being sustainable agriculture, ecological agriculture, low-external input agriculture or people-centered agriculture.  

Agroecology is defined as farming that ‘’centers on food production that makes the best use of nature’s goods and services while not damaging these resources.”  It applies ecology to the design of farming systems; uses a whole-systems approach to farming and food systems; and links ecology, culture, economics and society to create healthy environments, food production and communities.  

That may sound like a complicated process for extremely poor family farmers around the world to manage.  But the reality is it works because it builds on farmers skills and knowledge: they have long experience working with nature, understanding the dynamics of their local environments, producing food and other products they need, maximizing the use of available resources, solving problems, and weighing risks, costs and benefits. Therefore they can manage the process and become lifelong innovators.

Since 2016 we are already busy implanting Agroecology in Mankosi. The SDC is very lucky to receive help from two Agroecology experts from France. A lot of local farmers already pro

Het implementeren van Agroecology in Mankosi gebeurd al sinds 2016. In de afgelopen jaren hebben we hulp gehad van twee experts uit Frankrijk. Many local farmers have already benefited from this training. There is one very motivated local young man named Thulani who wants to develop further in not only his own garden, but to ultimately become an expert and help his community.

 With our focus on 2020:

We are currently looking for a suitable course for Thulani to develop in Agroecology. Thulani will be taking a course in 2020 and we will see how we are going to implement his learned skills in the community.

Thank you!

Thanks a lot for all the amazing human beings who donated, give their thoughts, share resources and talents and who used their voice to raise awareness for the people in Mankosi.

Support the sewing workshop

The Skills Development Center sells colorful trousers for women with matching headwrap and scrunchies. Interested? Just send an email to 


We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Nomandla, Nosphelele, Khanisya, Daniel, Thulani, Nikelani, Lisa, Astrid en Mirthe

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Organization Information

TransCape NPO

Location: Ngqeleni - South Africa
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Mirthe Vos
Ngqeleni, South Africa

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