Soul of Africa

by Soul of Africa
Aug 20, 2010

Soul Of African gives unemployment the boot!

Soul Of Africa Stitcher
Soul Of Africa Stitcher

South Africa’s jobless rate rose unexpectedly to a five-year peak in the first quarter. Officials blame this on seasonal factors and the end of the World Cup preparations.

The official unemployment rate climbed to 25,2% from 24,3% in the final quarter of last year, despite the economy's recovery, Statistics SA said yesterday. (Business Day 5 May 2010)

Soul Of Africa, is providing a long-term solution to unemployment, by creating self-sustainable employment – employment that is permanent – in South Africa.

Soul Of Africa creates self-sustainable employment for previously unemployed women in South Africa. These women are trained to hand-stitch products which in turn lead to the transferral of skills, giving them the self empowering ability to look after their families and provide essential healthcare.

Soul Of Africa is a non-profit charity organization, and, although profit is made, it is all donated back toward the care and upkeep of orphans and vulnerable children affected by AIDS in South Africa. To date Soul Of Africa has raised over R10million which has all been ploughed back into South African communities.

Unemployment increased by 145000 to 4,3-million, which means that one in four of SA's workforce of 12,8-million is without a job. When discouraged job seekers, those who have given up looking for work, are included, SA's jobless rate rose to 35,4% from 34,2% in last year's fourth quarter. That would take the number of unemployed people to a staggering 6,1-million, or a third of the workforce. "These figures are very disappointing," said Stanlib economist Kevin Lings. "I would describe SA's unemployment rate as a crisis, which contributes massively to social unrest." The Congress of South African Trade Unions said it was "shocked" at the figures, which showed that where workers were concerned the country was still grappling with recession. Brait economist Colen Garrow said that although President Jacob Zuma 's government was taking the right steps to create jobs, it would be a decade before the real benefits were reaped. (Business Day 5 May 2010)

Says Sarah Gedye, co-founder of Soul Of Africa and owner of local footwear manufacturer Froggie Shoes, “It’s no use creating temporary employment, it’s a quick fix that doesn’t last. The solution to the unemployment crisis in South Africa is to creating self-sustainable employment and that’s exactly what Soul Of Africa successfully strives to do.” The Soul Of Africa hand-stitchers are earning double the average urban income in South Africa which is approximately R1,340.00 per month, earned by domestic workers. They are able to support and provide for their families, earning R2,604.00 per month by hand stitching Soul Of Africa products such as genuine leather shoes, t-shirts, footballs and notebooks. Soul Of Africa products are sold in South Africa as well as international retailers such as Clarks and NEXT.

42-year-old Octavia Msani who has been struggling to raise her three children as well as two of a sister who died of ADS says, “Thanks to the Soul Of Africa project, I can now make my way in life.” “I’m feeling happy because the shoes make our lives more possible, now I know that if I die from AIDS my children will have good care and a good education,” says another of the stitchers.

Soul Of Africa ARE changing lives in Africa without expecting a hand out, their passion and commitment are instrumental in ensuring their projects constant progression and success – Soul Of Africa is working!

More information about Soul Of Africa can be found online at hyperlink or contact Leigh on 082 337 0400 or Sarah on 031 450 0200



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Organization Information

Soul of Africa

Location: Durban, KwaZulu Natal - South Africa
Website: http:/​/​
Soul of Africa
Project Leader:
Stephanie Keast
London, United Kingdom

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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