Clover’s corporate sustainability initiative, Clover Mama Afrika, aims to empower women in communities across the nation with various vital skills such as cooking, baking, sewing, quilting, business management, and food gardening. Over and above the training sessions, these “Mamas” are all supplied with the necessary tools, equipment, and infrastructure to create an income for themselves in order for them to give back to their communities.
To ensure that the mamas’ centres are sustainable and that they are working on their set out objectives, the Clover Mama Afrika team does regular monitoring and evaluation via surprise on-site visits and requesting receipt of regular reports. This was recently done by a surprise visit to two mamas in the Free State.
The first visit was to Mama Alinah Marumo who runs the Ikimiseng Crèche and Pre-School in Thabong, which cares for 130 pre-school children. She also has a sewing project which provides members with access and training to create sellable items such as cushions and thus helping community members earn an income.During the visit, Mama Alina proudly showed Prof. Elain, Founder of Clover Mama Afrika, the pots she has been using for 43 years to prepare meals to feed hundreds of members at various community functions.
After a successful visit, the team headed to Botshabelo to visit Mama Phomolo Raisa, where they found a buzz of activities from food gardening to baking and sewing. Mama Phomolo has worked side-by-side with Mama Florence Nyakiso since they started the Self-Help Project in 1995. Mama Florence has recently retired and since then, Phomolo has become her successor and has taken over the 11 different self-help projects. Mama Phomolo has been a Clover Mama Afrika skills training beneficiary for a number of years and is well equipped to provide skills training for the various projects.
Through the skills she has received from the project, she is able to run a vegetable garden and a mosaic project which she has been running successfully.
“We are so proud of Mama Phomolo’s vegetable garden which not only feeds an average of 340 people per day but also generates a healthy income and creates permanent employment to 10 members – this visit was a great opportunity to see Mama Phomolo’s growth,” explains Prof. Vlok.
Clover Mama Afrika is all about transferring skills to the mamas’ communities, and a great example of this, Maria Putlane who has been sewing for the centre for well over 3 years who now teaches young learners how to sew. While at the centre, Prof. Elain, had an opportunity to review some of the beautiful garments that the ladies had recently made.
Prof. Vlok explains, “I am proud to see the continuous development at these centres. Everyone works at their stride, some like Mama Alinah on a small scale but really continues to deliver good work for her community and then some like Mama Phomolo who has a host of projects that ensures the wellness of countless individuals not to mention remunerating between 36 and 40 employees monthly.”
These mamas are part of the Clover Mama Afrika project to not only empower themselves but to change the lives of the people in their communities.
By Prof. Elain Vlok, Founder of Clover Mama Afrika