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Our Projects in the Kalahari - Vocational Training

Posted by Bert Michels on Feb 16 2015

KED-J ‘Days for Girls’ Project

Girls, including those in the Moshaweng Valley, can miss up to eight months of schooling in three years simply because they are menstruating and have no way of managing this natural phase of life…..


Often personal hygiene products are unavailable or cost prohibitive. This was true for many women and girls in the Kalahari. In March 2015 Debbie Saegenschnitter (KEDI team member) helped launch the first ‘Days for Girls’ initiative at the Padstow Village Health Clinic. The response from all those attending was more positive than any imagined.

The project began in June 2014 when Lea met with ‘Bomme Are Direng’ (Kalahari Fabric Crafts Group) to discuss the commercial fabrication of these kits. This approach will do more than deliver safe menstrual protection for girls and women in the local village. It will also provide income for the sewing group and the two young women who will market and sell the kits, including instructions on correct usage.

‘Days for Girls’ is a global grassroots network of thousands of volunteers and supporters on six continents. It is supporting women and girls in 75+ countries. Find more information at:

This project is a huge success! The kits are supporting not just girls and women, but also the elderly with incontinence problems. It is giving back dignity to many in the community. In 2016 a second group, in the village of Laxey, will commence commercial production, with ‘Bomme Are Direng’ mentoring them.

If you wish to support this cause a donation of $20 will purchase a kit that provides one woman three years of safe menstrual protection.

A donation of $50 will assist the establishment of a sewing group in a second village.

A donation of $250 will purchase a sewing machine for a new group to produce the ‘Days for Girls’ kits as well as creating other income-generating opportunities.

KED-J Moshaweng Job Support Service MJSS

2014 MJSS was established. Since then youth and community members have had access to a world beyond their village. It offers internet and photocopying services and many online opportunities that previously never existed.

The first operator was Tsholo – a young woman from the village who received a scholarship to study Social Work. Unable to find employment, she returned and began volunteering at the school until KEDI employed her. Trained by KEDI team members, she quickly established a strong and popular service for learners and community members. This role led to success in being hired as a Social Science teacher in a nearby primary school.

Maitseo, another young woman from a neighbouring village, has taken over the operator’s role. Tsholo became her mentor and trainer and has equipped Maitseo to provide the same excellent support to all those who seek assistance.

The people in the Moshaweng Valley have access to services which they previously had to travel 100+ kilometres to obtain. CV’s, cover-letters, copying, scanning, emailing, applications for employment, university, technical colleges and other training opportunities, and job interview skills are all offered as part of MJSS.

Maitseo is an extraordinary businesswoman! KEDI no longer needs to support the cost of internet data to run the service – this is being covered by fee-paying community members and there are always surplus funds at the end of each month.

The next goal is for this income to cover a percentage of her wages which are funded by KEDI.

If you would like to contribute to a project which is uplifting so many lives, KEDI will gratefully welcome your support. $50 = 1 week’s salary for Maitseo. Simply nominate KED-J (MJSS) with your donation.



KED-J "Raising Leaders" Program

Youth in the Moshaweng Valley are disadvantaged because of isolation, poverty and deprivation of significant role models. They struggle to find pro-active ways to seek opportunities for themselves or impact positively in their communities.

However there are some outstanding young people who defy the trend to be idle, with many contributing in a voluntary capacity within schools, Early Childhood Development Centres and Clinics. They deserve our support, for they are the ones who can change the future for others…..

Lea Sander conducted the first ‘Raising Leaders’ Workshop in July 2015. Eight inspiring young adults spent a day at Loopeng Mission, learning, laughing, sharing and growing. Five of them are youth leaders in their villages, one is a seminary student, another runs the KEDI-sponsored Moshaweng Job Support Service (see above) and one is a mentor to other students at university. They all felt equipped to return to their various role empowered with confidence and new skills. Father Seane hosted everyone at Loopeng Mission (see photo), joined Lea in leading and sharing, and said this was the first leadership training program ever run in the valley!

It will now be included as a regular part of KEDI’s Vocational Training, the goal being to teach the previous participants to be trainers themselves and then partnering with KEDI to conduct the next ‘Raising Leaders’ workshop for others.

A donation of $50 will cover the cost for FIVE youth or trainers to attend the next workshop in July 2016 - $10 per person for meals, resources and transport. Can you help raise the future leaders of the Moshaweng Valley?

KED-J Technical Skills Program

Each year, commencing in 2015, KEDI will sponsor a village recipient to attend a technical college for three months of skills training. Eric Kgatwe was the first recipient (after satisfying an interview process and aptitude test) and finished his boiler-making course in December. He is now hoping to receive a learnership in one of the mines and will hear if he is successful in March 2016. In the meantime he will be employed by KEDI to assist with building the Dirang Basadi Garden (see Food Security) and the repairs at the Loopeng Mission (see below).

If you would like to help support a high school graduate acquire technical skills for a brighter future KEDI will welcome your assistance. It costs R10,000 ($1,000) for three months tuition, food, accommodation and a small living allowance for the recipient.

Any amount towards this annual goal of upliftment will be greatly appreciated! Simply nominate your donation to go to KED-J Technical Skills Program.

KED-J Loopeng Mission - "Training Under the Trees"

Loopeng Mission sits tranquilly on the edge of the village and big old pepper trees shade the Mission Houseand many outbuilding. Meetings, leadership training, conversations and contemplation all occur under the trees. And the buildings there are about to be renovated to host KEDI training teams, including doctors and nurses for the health program, educators for schools, trade teachers for career opportunities, and to host visiting trainers from Kuruman (100kms away) and beyond to teach hairdressing, horticulture, business skills and more.

It is hoped within the next two years some of the vacant outbuildings will be converted to workrooms where locals can either train, work or run small businesses.

The first goal is to install a tank and reverse osmosis system for healthy drinking water and to repair damaged pipes for the septic systems. This will enable the KEDI training team to stay in a Moshaweng village for the first time ever, saving 200+ kms travelling every day!

All donations, big or small, towards achieving the goal of $3,000 for repairs will be gratefully received – please use the code and name of project when you donate.


Last changed: Dec 08 2015 at 2:38 AM



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