GrandWest’s project to empower women and build communities

Sun International, along with The Social Makeover have created a women empowerment programme to help women from marginalised communities find employment and support themselves and their families. Last year GrandWest funded R174 000 to start the Girls360 Project in partnership with The Social Makeover Organisation. This year, in honour of Woman’s month, GrandWest hosted a Women360 Mentoring.

A recruitment tool was employed to identify 20 women from marginalized communities that have a deep desire and mind set to effect positive change within their personal life.  They will then be matched with a GrandWest employee who will mentor them for the remainder of the programme.

The project aims to stimulate individual employability and personal development by exposing women to a holistic, multi-prolonged developmental programme. The project aims to help participants find jobs or initiate entrepreneurial initiatives that will enable them to live self-determined lives and sustain their families.

“The women are exploring the ‘inner journey’ a woman must take to align her life, access her full leadership potential, build resilience to face adversity, make positive choices, ensure her wellbeing and become a leader within her life, her family, community and society at large,” says Genevieve Smith, Sustainability Manager at GrandWest.

The aim of the project is to provide socio-economic support, skills development and opportunities to women in underprivileged communities. The beneficiaries are women between 25 and 45 years old, living in densely populated, low-income communities.

“These women are the most affected by factors such as domestic violence, high crime rates, youth unemployment and early child pregnancy due to economic disempowerment, poverty and a lack of quality education. This also places them at a higher risk of getting HIV,” says Smith.

“By the end of the programme, the 20 young women will be trained in personal mastery, business development and job-readiness, meaning participants will be accredited with a post school qualification,’ says Smith.

“At least 80% of our participants will receive post academy opportunities in the form of jobs, tertiary education or running their own entrepreneurial activity. The 20 participants will need to empower five women each, meaning 100 women will benefit from this programme. All participants will be exposed and provided access to experts, companies and opportunities in their field of interest,” she says.

“This project is so important, as we believe women are the backbone of our communities,” says Smith. “By supporting women and giving them access to equal opportunities such as education, jobs and health care, everyone will benefit. Infant mortality rates will go down, more children will stay in school, incomes will increase and the cycle of poverty can be broken,” she says.

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