empowered to create a new and better life

“We prioritize women. Some of the women we assist are victims of sexual and gender based violence, others are single or single mothers. We initiated the centres to mainstream the refugee and asylum seeker women we assist. That way they are self-reliant and in some instances not dependent on men who may be abusing them.”

Women refugees do not have access to training opportunities normally. Much less do they have opportunities to choose their own program and business opportunity. Arrupe Women’s Centre is giving the most vulnerable amongst refugees and asylum seekers independence, education, self-reliance and most of all, a real chance at a second – better – life in their new homes.

But the programme goes further than empowerment through education with an extended focus on social cohesion. With South African women being part of the programme and also benefitting from this wonderful learning and business opportunity, diversity and social cohesion is fostered. This is how a healthy cultural exchange is encouraged. Through interaction in a social and educational environment, friendships are forged, myths dispelled and lessons learnt in differing cultural norms. The purpose of AWBC to include local women is to help both local and refugee women work together to find solutions to their problems. By training South African and refugee women alongside each other this initiative helps to change attitudes and opens possibilities for business and longer relationships.

With an almost 87% graduation rate, with 26 out of the initial 30 students completing and graduating from the programme, it is not only a rapid means of imparting skills, but clearly a highly successful and effective one as well.  The business start-up kit the graduates receive upon completion of the course, serves as a real asset, in the simplest understanding, capital with which to start their businesses.

get involved: jrs.net

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