Youth Speaker entry #16: Philip Crafford (South Africa)

KwaNothemba WoodWork-Centre for the Disabled

The Kwanothemba Woodwork-shop in Khayelitsha is an NGO that was established in 1998 in order to give people with disabilities an opportunity to support themselves. KwaNothemba workshop consists of five departments; Sewing, Baking, Paper-making, Wood-work and Day-care. The workshop covers a large area (±200m²) and houses a number of large industrial woodworking machines. In 2010 due to machine breakdowns, a definite business plan and very important a trained woodwork-shop manager the workshop was abandoned by the semi-skilled disabled working there, resulting in almost zero production.

Philip CraffordIn March 2014 after receiving funding from the FP&M Seta for upgrades (and training), repairs were performed to get the woodwork-shop in a safe and operational state.
With well-maintained machines, skilled personnel, a solid business plan and most important (at current) a trained woodwork-shop mentor, the workshop has the potential to not only generate additional income for people with disabilities, but also to be a place where skills can be learnt and passed on.

Education and training is fundamental in this project and the goal of the Kwanothemba Woodwork-shop is to become a sustainable and profitable business where skills can be learnt and passed on.

Timber and timber products will always be a part of human development and lives

Our objectives are to establish good business platform and skills base, good health and safety practices and standard operating procedures. This will be done by establishing long-term relationships and introducing good connections.

If the project-plan is implemented as envisioned; the workshop will become a cornerstone of the community; teaching wood working and production skills to the disabled, as well as the youth, and generating income for those involved in production; Thus Empowerment through an Educational and Mentoring environment.

Text, picture and video are submitted by Philip Crafford (South Africa) – pcrafford(at)

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

This post is published as an application by the author, to speak as a youth representative at the World Forestry Congress. Have a look at the other entries too!

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