The spirit of Ubuntu sees the upskilling of communities

The spirit of Ubuntu sees the upskilling of communities
Clover Mama Afrika’s Annual Smarties Week winners announced

Our mamas continue to practice their skills at home, but look forward to further skills transfer when it is safe to do so.

South Africa is a resilient nation that has overcome many difficult times through the spirit of Ubuntu (showing humanity towards others). Even through lockdown and the coronavirus crisis, South Africans have huddled together to make do and get through. It is with the spirit of Ubuntu, that Clover Mama Afrika drives forward and takes giving back to others through constant training of their mamas very seriously.

Clover Mama Afrika, Clover’s corporate sustainability initiative, aims to empower women in communities across the nation with various vital skills such as cooking, baking, sewing, quilting, business management, and food gardening. Over and above the training sessions, these “Mamas” are all supplied with the necessary tools, equipment and infrastructure to create an income for themselves in order for them to give back to their communities.

“With South Africa’s unemployment rate sitting at 29.1%, it is important to constantly better our communities and those around us, with the skills we have available and that we can impart on all of our wonderful, hard-working mamas,” explains Prof Elain Vlok, Clover Manager, Clover Mama Afrika Trust.

Clover Mama Afrika is a community-led approach aimed at reducing poverty in neighbourhoods by empowering women to empower the generation that comes after them. The team is determined to fight the war against poverty by upskilling these women who can carry the torch and break the cycle of poverty.

Clover Mama Afrika shares a few reasons why upskilling is vital:

  • A good way to assist in reducing poverty

The creation of self-help driven programs can lead to a culture of self-efficacy. Which can be seen as one of the best ways to reduce poverty – enabling people to build skills. The project embodies this way of providing skills to people who will pass it on to the next person.

  • Skills development increases the standard of living

Skills development can reduce unemployment, raise incomes, and improve standards of living. The mamas in the project are testament to this – they have built on their small businesses, growing them over the years, increasing profits and employing others.

  • Helps eradicate poverty further by transferring skills to the next person

Not having skills perpetuates the cycle of poverty and inequality. Helping young people develop skills makes economic sense. The Clover Mama Afrika initiative has trained 2241 individuals and over 11800 skills have been transferred to community members, and the project has proudly hosted 141 income generating self-help projects.

  • Fosters a culture of strong will

By equipping people with the right tools and skills, they are able to create a future they see fit for themselves. People tend to fight and work harder for their own dreams.

  • Creates a cycle of longevity

Breaking the poverty cycle by upskilling people who need training can produce a long-term benefit. By transferring skills to people who are dedicated to stay out of poverty and empowering the next person.

“In the heart of Africa lies an ancient wisdom, an understanding of human connection: I am, because we are. Clover Mama Afrika embraces this knowledge, and this spirit of Ubuntu,” concludes Prof Vlok.

About Clover Mama Afrika

Clover Mama Afrika is a sustainable Corporate Social Investment project that has been in existence since 2004. Over the years the project has hosted 417 training sessions with over 2241 beneficiaries. Teaching and guiding strong females (lovingly called ‘Mamas’ due to their standing in their neighbourhoods) in communities all over the country, in order to build their skills and sustain and improve their own community projects. Only the most committed are enrolled and these include women looking after orphans, the elderly and those suffering from HIV/Aids.