The Boardwalk visited the Healing Minds Centre in Walmer township on Thursday, 28 March – this time to hand over brand new industrial sewing machines to replace the old domestic ones at the centre as part of the Community Service Nutrition Scheme for disadvantaged women.
“These new machines will enable the centre to increase garment production and thus encourage sustainability and income growth,” says Peggy Mokhatla, Boardwalk’s Social Equity Manager. “After the training students will receive, their productivity will be increased due to the volumes they will be able to manufacture.”
The centre received eight industrial sewing machines, two industrial over-lockers, one industrial embroidery machine and fabric. The initiative is also supported by the Department of Social Development and the Eastern Cape Gambling Board.
The Healing Minds Centre has been supported by The Boardwalk with various donations and upgrades since 2015. “We always consider what the biggest needs are with regards to ensuring sustainability and this specific donation will assist to ensure that the project will not only increase its production volumes but will make the workload lighter with production being easier and turn-around times faster,” Mokhatla continues.
Last year The Boardwalk upgraded the centre’s kitchen and children’s area and handed over a donation of non-perishable foods to lighten the burden of a festive season without sufficient food supplies.
Walmer has been identified as an Anti-Poverty Site. This ongoing sewing programme aims to create job opportunities and also to alleviate poverty in the Walmer Township community.
Healing Minds Centre is a non-profit organization that runs several programs to assist and uplift the local community. These include a daily feeding scheme for over 225 impoverished people from the area; a crèche facility for 87 toddlers whose parents are either absent, deceased or cannot afford early childhood care; a sewing skills training program as well as a cleaning and recycling initiative. A model eco garden with an organic waste management system is also underway at the site, with the vision being to grow fresh produce to sell in order to generate funds for the centre.
Once known for the rife vandalism, crime, drugs, vagrancy and other ills, the site where the centre is today located, represents a stand against injustice and is home to many inspired volunteers who love to serve and share. “The centre is a haven for many disadvantaged men, women and children of all ages, and because of this, we decided a few years back to take it under our wing,” Mokhatla concludes.