Youth Enterprise

Some of our older children were showing great promise in their chosen fields and many had skills that were valuable; however, finding employment is not always easy. Some children expressed an interest in starting their own small-scale businesses. Naturally when the older children started to get involved, the little ones also wanted to be a part of it the excitement. So, after much thought it was decided that 3 small enterprises should be launched with multiple objectives, and all 3 would be launched at an exhibition in 2016.

The 3 enterprises were:

Baking and Cooking

One of our girls was studying to be a baker at the time and we hoped that this enterprise would launch her career. It was decided that she would simultaneously, teach other some of the other children so that they could either support her venture or find employment in industry themselves. The children were able to make various cakes, breads and savoury snacks for the launch. In addition to that they produced their own curry powder and made their own chutneys, pickles and jams. The little ones also launched themselves into the excitement, and acted as ‘tasters’ with exceptional enthusiasm!

The enterprise continues to operate on a small scale at present. However, our baker has great ambitions and continues to dream big! One of the kitchens in the girls hostel (of which there are two) has been dedicated to this enterprise. Why not sample some of their delights if you are in the country? Contact us for further information.

Sewing and Dress Making

Three of our girls showed real interest in this area and had already started to make clothes for some of the children in our homes. Initially the enterprise was intended to provide pocket money for those children as well as support their skills development. They take on custom sewing work and showcased a few samples at the exhibition. This was enabled by the kind donation of a few sewing machines for the children to use and there is at present a dedicated sewing room in the girls’ hostel.

The little ones continue to be ‘guinea pigs’ for the new creations, but we think the children actually like it, new clothes are always very popular!! And we are starting to have some of the best dressed ‘guinea pigs’ in town!

Arts and Craft

Many of our children are very artistic. They draw and paint to a very high standard, and are very useful and resourceful with their handicrafts. One of the girls decided to make small purses. She went around all the local material shops and collected as many free cut offs as she could get and went on to make some exceptions little hand purses from them. These sold out at the exhibition. They made cards, drew and painted pictures and so much more. Whilst they made some money from this enterprise it was always intended, at least initially, to be a lifestyle enterprise.

All the younger children took the opportunity to learn new skills and are now pursuing arts and crafts as a hobby. They will continue to produce personalised items and seasonal gifts and cards. We suggest you get your orders in now if you would like some!

The launch exhibition was a great success and the youngsters are motivated to press forward. One of our objectives is to find a dedicated coach to help them navigate through the complexities of running a small enterprise; who knows, they may be able to provide career opportunities for many of our children and others in the regions we support.