Angela Southey was a valued member of the Sizzix team for many years. Her role was a Creative Designer who specialised in quilting, before temporarily moving to South Africa to establish a training programme for local women.
Angela is currently in Walmer Township working with the local community to develop a training programme to teach women to sew in order to create clothing and accessories using appliqué and traditional Shweshwe fabrics.
Walmer Township is located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and is home to around 70,000 residents. It remains one of the poorest neighbourhoods and suffers from a high rate of unemployment. Walmer lacks the resources to be able to overcome this issue with only two primary schools, one high school and one clinic.
The local inspirational women are participating in the training programme to learn new skills with the prospect of work. Angela is working with Heather to organise the training and a prospective work programme, which will allow the women to use their skills once fully trained.
The women have been using Sizzix die cutting machines and dies, which were donated to Angela and Heather to use in their fantastic training and work programmes. It was the first time for the women using the products but, they have easily picked it up and are now making wonderful designs!
These amazing women are very keen to learn. Babsie, a young girl is responsible for her 12-year-old brother. She currently has two cleaning jobs, which totals one and a half days a week. Babsie has around £15 to live on which has to cover travel, rent and other expenses. Angela is hoping with the training she will be able to get more employment and improve her and her brother’s life.
Angela says, “although some of these ladies have children or other family, they often have no food in their cupboards and yet, they always have a smile and a hug”.
These women are an asset to their local community and now, thanks to Angela and Heather they have positive prospects ahead of them. The work Angela and Heather are doing in South Africa is inspirational and we are happy to have contributed to the programme.