In Ganyesa village, North West lies Tong Comprehensive School which is leading an insurgency against youth unemployment and skills shortage in their region. The school’s enterprise club, Tong Young Entrepreneur Society, recently started manufacturing furniture items to add to their previous work including bead work, steel, and wood ornament pieces. One of the club’s leaders, Motlhasedi Mochware, says they realized they had an opportunity to use the multiple skills that the learners have, to create something and empower themselves while also helping the community at the same time. “Being a technically orientated school, a majority of the learners in our school have great skills and can create things using their own hands, so we seized that opportunity,” says Mochware.
The school has extensive products, such as the newly launched 60-learner club, which was established in 2015. The club makes braai stands, toilet roll holders, trophies, pot stands, study lamps, bathroom cabinet sets and also refurbish desks. The school entered the 2016 Eskom Simama Ranta School Entrepreneurship Education competition, where they were crowned the North West provincial winners. This achievement is considered remarkable as the school has only been in existence for one year.As a provincial winner, Tong received R50 000 in prize money.
They established their club to equip learners with entrepreneurship skills and to encourage them to create jobs and alleviate poverty in their community. The club uses its profits to improve the school’s infrastructure and also donate to the Cancer association, old age home and other charity organizations in their area. They also use the funds to sponsor orphaned and destitute learners during activities like matric dances.