TRADE SKILLS STUDIO
The Grahamstown Project is a social business. We have partnered with the British Charity Khanya to provide Trade Skills Training in Grahamstown. Khanya’s motto is “building skills for life”. This most certainly applies to Grahamstown.
Our model integrates charitable funding, business principles and carefully thought out skills training programmes to grow the economy of Grahamstown.
Our vision is to grow the skills-base and draw money into Grahamstown. It’s humble beginnings but we believe we can export significant volumes of high-quality products made in our Trade Skills Studio’s and sourced from our Trade Skills Entrepreneurs.
The Grahamstown Project’s Online Shop is a platform for the people of Grahamstown to sell high-quality products to people all over the world who are connected to Grahamstown and care about Grahamstown.
We are launching this component of The Grahamstown Project vision, mission and plan with a Box-set of Christmas gifts that have been hand-crafted by people in Grahamstown. Each of the 12 products in the Box-set has been carefully chosen. We’ve tried to match our capabilities and potential as a team with what we think will be a perfect selection of Christmas gifts for you to give family and friends. There’s something for everyone.
It’s been a tough year and, in addition to our executive and grass-roots involvement in the community of Grahamstown, this has been the main focus of our team. Your support will be greatly appreciated.
The Box-Set of Christmas Gifts includes:
- The Bag: A beautiful Shweshwe bag with genuine leather straps and a waterproof interior. Made by our qualified fashion designer, Sabelo Bill, and his team of Trainee seamstresses at the Seven Fountains Sewing Class set up by Lalibela Game Reserve. Sabelo was previously employed by Ackerman’s at their Cape Town head-office but has returned to Grahamstown to “give back” to our community. This stylish bag is great for the beach or shopping adventure.
- Roddy Fox’s Limited Edition Rhino book.Every week, “Friday’s Photo by RoddyTheFox” is published online by The Grahamstown Project. Roddy is an award-winning photographer. His images have intrigued and delighted our followers and attracted significant attention to Grahamstown. Roddy’s Rhinos is a product of that collaboration. The photographs were all taken in September and October 2020. They’re a celebration of the rhino conservation efforts of all those involved at Kwandwe Private Game Reserve and Amakhala Private Game Reserve. The mission of The Grahamstown Project is to create work opportunities for people and draw money to the city and our impoverished province. The wildlife industry has had an extraordinary impact on the Eastern Cape with two million hectares of commercial agriculture converted to wildlife use since 1994. This inspired action has protected the natural environment and attracted significant foreign exchange to the region. The Covid-19 crisis and restrictions on international visitors poses a great threat to the Eastern Cape economy and, ultimately, our natural environment.
- The Grahamstown Eco-Donkey: Designed and made by Hilary Mohr, our expert fashion designer and sewing skills coach. The loveable Eco-Donkey is iconic Grahamstown in two respects. Sometimes loveable, sometimes naughty, donkeys are a feature of the Grahamstown landscape. Unfortunately, so too is plastic. A menace of the modern age. Your Grahamstown Eco-Donkey is stuffed with clean, recycled plastic.
- The Grahamstown Warmth-Donkey: Best mates with Eco-Donkey, the Grahamstown Warmth-Donkey is filled with rice. Pop me in the microwave and I become the perfect hand-warmer.
- Table-Runner: Nobesthu Nkontsa is a Joza based seamstress. Formerly employed at Kwandwe as a chef, circumstances have forced her to work from home as a seamstress. Nobesthu has a heart of gold and a warm smile. She immediately grabbed the opportunity to be part of this project. Nobesthu has a Trainee (Siphe Mbiza) she teaches 3 mornings per week. Trainees are paid a learnership allowance funded by the Khanya Charity.
5. Set of 6 Place-mats: Made by Sabelo Bill and his team. The Place-mats – as with all items in the box – are colour themed. A Box-set is a Box-set. You may choose between our “Day” set and “Night” set. The individual products and colour / pattern variants will be available on our Online Shop from 1 December 2020.
- Tote Bag: Designed by Hilary Mohr, these multi-purpose bags are made in The Grahamstown Project’s Sewing Skills Studio. Mbulelo Lukwe is our Head Coach and Hilary Mohr volunteers her time and skills on a twice-weekly consulting basis. On 9 September 2020, Mbulelo started training Ilene Makwetu, Zintombi Zabo and Sinazo Snoti who each receive a daily learnership allowance from the Khanya Charity. To cut costs, the Sewing Skills Studio was set up in an outside room at Graeme & Vanessa Holmes’ home. Sewing Machines were donated and purchased and a deal was struck with Nombulelo High School who had in their strong-room 9 old manual sewing machines. The Grahamstown Project serviced the machines and in exchange for their use, Mbulelo and Sabelo Bill (a Nombulelo Old Boy) teach a Sewing Skills Class at Nombulelo for two mornings a week.
- Set of 6 Serviettes: Lovingly made in the Sewing Skills Studio. Ilene, Zintombi, and Sinazo made these as part of their training. The trainees demonstrated their ability to sew straight lines and corners and then graduated to more complex projects. Trainees start as Grade O’s and as their skills and competencies grow they move through the grades. Grade 4’s are competent tailors and seamstresses and are qualified to teach trainees as well as supply product to The Grahamstown Project as Trade Skills Entrepreneurs.
- Apron: Made in the Sewing Skills Studio, this beautiful Shweshwe apron is a pattern copy of Vanessa’s favourite apron. The perfect apron to prepare the delicious and healthy venison, lamb and other speciality meats supplied by The Farm Butchery, Adelaide. We home-deliver to Johannesburg (once a month) and to Grahamstown / Kenton on a weekly basis. During December we’ll also be delivering weekly to St Francis Bay, and Plettenberg Bay so don’t forget to place your order and stock up for Christmas. While you are at it stock up with delicious, home-made Shelbi’s Ice-Cream.
- Stocking stuffer from the Skills Studio: The process of training Grade 0 sewers involves a lot of practice to hone the skills learned. Naturally, the Skills Studios produce some products that do not quite meet our quality standards. A lucky surprise item is included in every box. It may be anyone of the beautiful products listed here.
- Leather Cards-holder: Andrew Wolff is a multi-talented craftsman. To view his broad range of belts, bags, hunting accessories, and other leather products go to #Alpha_Belts Instagram page. Andrew has used Warthog leather in his beautiful and functional Cards-holder. As a former banking executive in the Credit Card industry, Graeme strives to live a cashless life and Andrew’s leather Cards-holder is perfect for his bank cards, ID and drivers licence. Leather is synonymous with Grahamstown. It is the home of the International School of Tanning Technology and together with Andrew we hope to grow this avenue of our training programmes and social business.
11. Wood and resin pendant: These attractive pendants are made by Sigqibo Mazungula in our Carpentry Skills Studio. Sigqibo has come through the ranks of Eluxolweni home for orphaned children and the Amasango Careers School. Jane Bradshaw and Virginia Parkes have mentored and sponsored Sigqibo for much of his life. Sigqibo is trained by Claude Baines who was intricately involved in the Khanya Trade School pilot programme.
12. Face-Mask: Made in the Sewing Skills Studio. What Covid Christmas Box-set of Gifts would be complete without a mask?
RODDY FOX IMAGES
The mission of The Grahamstown Project is to create work opportunities for people and
draw money to the city and our impoverished province. The wildlife industry has had an
extraordinary impact on the Eastern Cape with two million hectares of commercial
agriculture converted to wildlife use since 1994. This inspired action has protected the
natural environment and attracted significant foreign exchange to the region. The Covid-19
crisis and restrictions on international visitors poses a great threat to the Eastern Cape
economy and, ultimately, our natural environment.
Every week, “Friday’s Photo by RoddyTheFox” is published online by The Grahamstown
Project. Roddy’s images have intrigued and delighted our followers and attracted
significant attention to Grahamstown. Roddy’s beautiful book of Rhinos is a product of that
collaboration. The photographs were all taken in September and October 2020. They’re a
celebration of the rhino conservation efforts of all those involved at Kwandwe and
Amakhala Private Game Reserves. The book is available as part of the Big Box-Set of Christmas Gifts.
Click on any product above, add to cart, add other productsand continue to check-out page.
GET IN TOUCH
Graeme - 083 271 0279