“I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matt 25:35)
The Mother Assunta Training Centre was launched in 2017 as an extension to the Bienvenu Shelter, also within the local area which provides empowerment programs to migrant and refugee women residents of the shelter and women from the local community. The Training Centre offers migrant and refugee women the opportunity to participate in courses and other activities of orientation, training and skills development that favour creating job opportunities and income generation for themselves and their families.
The Mother Assunta Skills Training Centre provides three month courses, three times per year, which is in accordance to the market and what is popular at that time. Courses offered are hairdressing, sewing, baking, beauty (make-up and nails) and beading training. Upon successful completion of their courses, women graduate and receive a certificate of achievement. Follow ups after graduation takes place with the teachers who provide them with guidance, support and encouragement.
For all courses, we always have a long waiting list of women who want to enrol and participate, which is an indicator of the quality of the teaching that is transmitted, the effectiveness of the approach adopted and, also, the recognition and credibility of the organisation.
The charity shop was opened in order to generate income to put back into the project. It also serves the purpose to enable ex-residents and vulnerable women in the local community to be self-sustainable, as they are able to purchase items/bags of clothing for a small fee and then re-sell them at markets and informal areas around Johannesburg. Donations of materials/fabrics are also held at the charity sales as such items enable students from sewing the opportunity to practice with the materials donated and to make goods to sell i.e cushions, aprons, table mats, shopping bags etc.
The Mother Assunta Training Centre also has a mini project within it, which is a Tuck shop on site that provides foods and drinks for students attending the empowerment programmes. This is a great need as it provides more safety and security for students as they do not have the need to leave the building during the day. This project was also put in place to generate income to put back into the project.