TFPD Foundation and the managers of the lodges are encouraging creative ventures in the communities around the lodges. These are not always related to Transfrontier Parks Destinations’s main business which is the community-owned lodges but can add value to the guest experience indirectly.
A wonderful example of this was initiated recently by a manager at Awelani and two staff members, Meki and Mashi. These two women had excellent sewing skills and just needed a helping hand with design and presentation. They have produced a range of fashionable items that use traditional fabrics and modern clothing patterns to make fashionable items that will appeal to a wider clientele than the traditional garments worn in Limpopo.
Meki and Mashi, handmade in Mutele is the name of the brand and the women have produced clothing that is really exciting, carefree and colourful. The next step is to link them to marketing and sales opportunities in a larger city.
This is a prime example of how the lives of women from the informal settlements in the Mutele area can be enhanced by the creation of flexible work opportunities. This builds on simple skills, like sewing, that the women already have, to create a sustainable income for themselves. It is tremendously rewarding to see how a little encouragement and assistance can cause a growth in ability and confidence in these shy rural women who have so little.