South African non-profit Rhiza Babuyile was founded in 2005 with the aim of eradicating poverty in selected townships. They do this by giving historically disadvantaged individuals the tools to be completely self sustaining, offering education, healthcare, enterprise and skills development. Their signature projects include mobile clinics and business hubs in Diepsloot (north of Johannesburg) and a skills development project in Orange Farm (south of Johannesburg) that is helping launch the careers of aspiring fashion designers in the community.
The NPO plays an important role in the community of Orange Farm, where – like in many South African townships – people battle with making ends meet due to unemployment and other socio-economic challenges. Rhiza Babuyile’s skills development programme in Orange Farm trains young people in fashion design. Over a period of six months, youths learn how to scratch, cut and sew clothes. The students are given the opportunity to develop a name for themselves and sell their creations at prime retail spaces.
Nompumelelo Khumalo, a 21-year-old former student of Rhiza Babuyile, is now working with Township Kleva, a local brand that promotes young designers, gives them experience and connects them with players in the industry. Khumalo says Rhiza Babuyile has helped her develop a love for fashion and she aims to help other young girls in her community discover fashion design.
The Rhiza Babuyile goal is to develop 15 000 individuals this year as a step towards making South Africa a better place.