DCAS Introduces Unemployed Youth with Disabilities to Jewellery Making
From 9 to 13 May and 23 to 27 May 2016 the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) introduced unemployed youth with disabilities to a two week skills training workshop at the Genadendal, Greyton, Voorbrug Disability Forum in Genadendal.
The majority of the aspiring crafters are unemployed and they represent females between the ages of 18 and 35 with various forms of disabilities in the Overberg region. For some of them using both their hands is an everyday challenge and they needed lots of encouragement and patience to manage and achieve progress in jewellery making.
Paper bead rolling is a recycling project in which old glossy magazines are used and it is part of the Craft and Visual Arts Genre Development Programme. The group learned about teamwork and started with a production line by cutting paper, grouping the best bead rollers together and varnishing the final products. Trainer Mignon Hattingh said: “It was very special to witness the aspiring crafters threading bracelets single handed because threading on elastic when using both hands is already a rather challenging method.”
They were also equipped with constructive softer skills and became more confident, happy and were very proud of their achievements. DCAS Project Manager Lizahn Claasen stressed the value of new competencies that develop confidence. “It was indeed rewarding to sense the strengths and limitations of each individual, especially when they blossomed into confident, talented crafters with great potential,” she said.
Craft trends usually evolve fast and in this instance the degree of difficulty to master the method of the new skills was vital as well as ensuring that affordable material is easily accessible. The skills transfer of making jewellery from paper beads will be rolled out for the entire year in this region. It will equip local people as crafters and enable them to access local markets, with the possibility of economic and financial sustainability.
DCAS offers opportunities for communities to learn new skills. Communities should make use of these opportunities to create a better future for themselves. Let us create successful, sustainable communities BETTER TOGETHER.