IRSA (Islamic Relief South Africa) places great emphasis on promoting sustainable livelihoods. It is our aim to reduce poverty by helping to generate employment in underprivileged communities and motivating individuals and families toward self-sufficiency and economic stability. Our values, vision, and mission is to empower and promote community participation by optimizing the quality and nature of work. We achieve this through facilitating a healthy mindset, of needs over wants while fostering healthy and mutually beneficial relationships within families and the broader community. We direct our resources to create opportunities for self-sustainability by emphasizing the importance of education and training programs, which we use to improve and empower the livelihoods of the most vulnerable people in South Africa.
The Alternative Livelihoods for Women project is a climate-smart initiative that provides solutions to tackle the hunger and poverty crisis in South Africa. The main objective is to drive sustainable farming systems that sufficiently improve food, nutrition, and income security, particularly for vulnerable women. These women are further empowered through business skills development programs to help them practice their trade.
Islamic Relief collaborates with the Umgibe Farming Organics and Training Institute, which has developed a carbon-saving, ecological, organic, income-generating vegetable-growing system that provides a platform to market vegetables grown by grassroots farmers in South Africa. The project is aimed at women’s empowerment and is household based which conveniently allows women to grow and manage their crops at their homes. The selected beneficiaries are taught how to process and package their produce, with their newly acquired business skills, which enables them to generate sustainable income from their harvests.
The Umgibe Farming programme consists of 3 phases. Phase 1 & 2 are currently implemented, which focuses on the training of the women, and the growing and harvesting of crops. Islamic Relief together with Umgibe Farm offers beneficiaries the knowledge to improve through skill development training. The training leads to the final phase, which is to sell organic home-grown produce and to sustain and grow their new business venture.
The project is towards women empowerment and is household based, and allows women to manage their crops within their reach, and therefore not time consuming. Beneficiaries get an opportunity to learn processing and packaging of their produce, and how income can be generated from their harvests.
The Umgibe Farming programme has 3 phases/categories. Currently phase 1 & 2 is in implementation, which consist of the training and harvesting of the crops. The focus in this phase is the business development processing including compliance and principles. Islamic Relief with the Umgibe Farm offers beneficiaries the knowledge and information to improve and develop their skills towards the final phase, which will prepare them to sell and sustain their enterprises.
This project focus on addressing the socio-economic challenges faced by female refugees (adults and youth) in South Africa. WREP seeks to empower, socially and economically, both refugee women and host communities, prioritizing skills development for enhanced livelihoods options; advocating on human and work rights; and promoting social cohesion.
Mini Tuck shop distribution
Islamic Relief SA held the first WREP distribution for beneficiaries after holding extensive business training and workshops. Start-up resources were provided in form of groceries and equipment to beneficiaries and right holders with the aim of guiding and educating them towards a sustainable lifestyle through this business venture.
One of the core objectives of the WREP is to equip beneficiaries with skills and expertise that will enable them to operate functional businesses in order to support their livelihoods. The WREP in collaboration with IRSA provided sewing machines, materials and other equipment to beneficiaries, enabling them on their journey to start-up their individual tailor and dress making business. The primary objective of providing a sustainable source of income for the beneficiairies of the WREP was realized.
Islamic Relief in partnership with the city of Johannesburg provided a 6 months theoretical and practical sewing skills training course to beneficiaries. This included training in basic business communications throughout the course. A graduation ceremony was held to celebrate the achievements of these women, who were determined and dedicated in their time and effort to complete the skills training course. Beneficiaries received certification of participation and completion and were, by IRSA, provided with equipment to start their businesses, as a means to being self-reliant.