By Phiwa Sikhondze
The beneficiaries of the Vukani BoMake Project (VBP) in Ntondozi, under Business Eswatini, gave out food hampers, toiletries, and knitted blankets to people living with disabilities (PLDs) in the Ntondozi area yesterday.
The donation was part of their early Christmas celebration and a way of sharing their joy and gratitude with vulnerable members of their community.
The Vukani BoMake Project (VBP) was launched by Business Eswatini in 2020 and aims to uplift and empower women economically through the establishment of cottage industries. The project provides training, equipment, and market access to women who produce handcrafted fabrics and textiles using waste material, and as their slogan goes, they turn trash into treasure.
The project has helped increase the earning potential of the women in the area who have now been able to improve their living standards and support their families and communities.
It is in that spirit that they now can share the Christmas cheer with other more vulnerable residents, especially those living with disabilities, who face many challenges and hardships. This heart-warming initiative is poised to create a ripple effect of happiness and inclusivity throughout the community.
The VBP cottage factory in Ntondozi is led by Mary Mbhamali, who is also a person living with disability. She has shown remarkable leadership and creativity in managing the factory and inspiring other PLDs.
Business Women Eswatini’s (BWE) Chairperson, Tokky Hou, praised the achievements of the Vukani BoMake Project and the generosity of the beneficiaries towards the PLDs in the Ntondozi area.
“We are proud of the achievements of the Vukani BoMake Project, which has demonstrated the potential and resilience of our women entrepreneurs. We are also delighted to share our joy and gratitude with people living with disabilities in the Ntondozi area, who deserve our respect and support. We hope that this gesture will bring some relief and happiness to them during this festive season,” she said.
The Chairperson also announced that they will be adding another container to grow the existing factory and create more opportunities for people who can learn textile production skills in the Ntondozi area.
Meanwhile, the CEO of BE Nathi Dlamini also waxed lyrical about the VBP Ntondozi PLDs giving back to their community. He emphasized the importance of taking the economy to the people and empowering the communities through small acts of kindness.
“We believe in the importance of devolving the economy that is, taking the economy to the people. There is power in a community coming together and its ability to do small acts of kindness in creating a ripple effect of positive change. We hope that this initiative will not only brighten the holiday season for those directly involved but will also inspire others to spread kindness and consider the needs of those who may face additional challenges during this time of year. It is important for us to highlight the viability of opportunities that can be capitalized on by the most economically vulnerable groups, especially people living with disabilities,” he said.
He also highlighted the viability and potential of the cottage industries run by people living with disabilities and invited other organizations to support and invest in such businesses.
“The VBP cottage factory in Ntondozi was established 2 years ago for PLDs and it has become one of the most resilient enterprises that not only adds to the value chain of the textile industry but is also a symbol of possibility to the PLD community. It is also our invitation to other organizations to support businesses run by this group, and to invest in BE and BWE investment opportunities similar to VBP for an economically marginalized group.”