Lesedi la Batho, one of Ceenex’s corporate social-investment (CSI) partners, recently achieved its goal of earning a permanent position on the GlobalGiving platform by raising more than R80 000 from over 60 donors in only 19 days.
These funds will be used to support the not-for-profit organisation’s new Ikemele women empowerment programme, which aims to support victims of gender-based violence (GBV) in the underserved Mabopane community.
A tradition of patriarchy and financial dependence on men continues to fuel GBV and femicide in the Mabopane community. The situation has gone from bad to tragic since the hard lockdown was first implemented in March 2020 to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus as joblessness and poverty levels reach new highs in this community.
Through one-on-one counselling sessions, Lesedi la Batho aims to provide victims of GBV a sustainable support network. It will give them a sense of hope and help restore their confidence. Moreover, the programme will focus on equipping abused women with the skills they need to secure employment. This is in addition to helping them start their own businesses so that they can become financially independent.
By focusing on cultivating women as leaders and fostering economic activity, Lesedi la Batho aims to have a larger and sustainable impact on the Mabopane community. Those who partake in the programme will be able to help other women and youth benefit from better employment opportunities that are created by entrepreneurs.
Ceenex recently donated three sewing machines to the new Entrepreneurship Hub that Lesedi la Batho will be establishing in the community. The Entrepreneurship Hub will be used to support the GBV programme, as well as other initiatives at the community centre.
Kedibone Moatshe, who oversees the firm’s many CSI projects, says that Ceenex intends donating a further two sewing machines to Lesedi La Batho in the next financial year.
“We continue to support many impoverished communities in the greater Gauteng area, and recently also turned our attention to Mabopane. We were particularly impressed by the way in which Lesedi la Batho was acting as a catalyst for social entrepreneurship in the community. This is in addition to its focus on empowering girls and women of all ages. We, therefore, approached Centre Manager, Thapelo Mokwena, and his team to see how we were able to help make an even larger impact on the community,” Moatshe says.
Kgomotso Sekgobela, a Ceenex Director, says that he is especially proud of Ceenex’s association with Lesedi la Batho Community Centre. “This is a CSI initiative both Kedibone and I hold dear to our heart, considering that we both grew up in Mabopane and attended primary school at the very same facility before it was converted into a community centre. It is also our own way of giving back to a community that played such a large part in who we are today,” Sekgobela concludes.