As we kick-off women’s month in South Africa, iconic local sanitary brand, Cobra, has developed a programme to equip teens with useful plumbing skills that will make them more employable.
Cobra believes that it has a responsibility to help make South Africa a stronger and more resilient society. It does this by investing in projects that give communities the skills they need to find work and to improve their quality of life.
Since 1998,The Cobra Teen Challenge has helped women from a variety of different backgrounds, including those who have dealt with substance abuse, gangsterism and human trafficking, to redirect the course of their lives. Today, the organization has a men’s centre, a halfway house and operates in 33 countries throughout Africa.
The programme is made up of four three-hour sessions and consists of different topics. The topics of the programme include: how to repair a tap washer, how to repair a leaking cistern, how to repair a leaking pipe and how to start your own business.
“When one of our merchants brought Teen Challenge’s work to our attention, we knew immediately that they were the kind of organisation we wanted to assist. We want to do everything we can to give back to communities in need and to empower people who are currently unemployed,” said Isgaan Hugo, Government Specialist at LIXIL Africa, which includes Cobra as part of its portfolio.
The first session took place on Mandela Day at the Teen Challenge Rehabilitation Centre in Eerste River in the Western Cape. “We were really impressed with the first session. It provided the 30 people who attended with hope that, when they move out of the centre, they will have the skills to find work.” said Pastor Bentley, who assists with Teen Challenge’s day-to-day operations.
Desmaine Beukman, Programme participant is already having entrepreneurial aspirations thanks to programme. “I realised that having these skills could give women the opportunity to establish themselves in this field,” she says. “With South Africa’s current gender-based violence crisis, women would likely to feel safer if they could find a female plumber to help them. I think there’s a business opportunity here,” concluded Beukman.