POWA campaign empowers Thembisa women entrepreneurial skills

Through this initiative, local women are learning how to apply make-up, make wigs, install nails, apply eyelashes, learn to drive and develop sewing, baking, computer and HIV lay counselling abilities.

Through the #EndDomesticSilence campaign, which Joko launched in collaboration with People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), abused women in South Africa, including those in Thembisa, will have the opportunity to learn a variety of new skills and then market their goods and services.

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Through this program, which has been operating since the beginning of 2022, local women are learning how to apply make-up, build wigs, install nails and add eyelashes.

They also learn to drive and develop their sewing, baking, computer and HIV lay counselling abilities.

Beneficiaries of this empowering programme are survivors who have received counselling at POWA and various NGOs that POWA’s #EndDomesticSilence initiative partners.

These NGOs, all based in GBV hotspots, include Get Informed Youth Development Centre in Gauteng, Umtata Women’s Support Centre in the Eastern Cape, Banna Ba Kae in the North West Province, Schoemansdal Victim Support Centre in Mpumalanga, the Vee Van Heerden Foundation in the Free State, the Social Workers’ Empowerment Training and Support (SWETS) in KwaZulu-Natal.

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In addition to providing survivors supported by these organisations with skills, the partnership has also involved training them on numerous aspects of domestic violence to help victims better respond to it and hosting healing days where GBV survivors share their experiences of abuse and how they triumphed over them.

Some women have harnessed the knowledge gained through this skills development programme, funded by JOKO, and are now running small enterprises, enabling them to generate income.

“By being empowered to earn money, women can support themselves and their children,” says Mpho Masilo, POWA’s Projects and Training Manager.

“In this way, they are more likely to end their silence and speak out about abuse – rather than stay in abusive relationships – because they are economically independent.

“They are also at reduced risk of being lured by fake employment opportunities that put them in danger.”

A 32-year-old woman from Thembisa is one of the survivors who benefitted from the beauty skills training provided by Kholofelo Duma, the owner of KD Royalty, in Diepkloof, Soweto.

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Now she is earning an income by doing acrylic nails from her home for various clients in her community. While she learnt a range of skills within the beauty course, she chose to focus on doing nail installation as she enjoys it most and regards it as her strong point.

Once she has gained a lot of experience in nail installation, she wants to add make-up applications to the services she provides.

“Before I started my business of doing nails, I wasn’t working. I am grateful I’m now making some money to support myself and my child,” she says.

“Perfecting my nail application skills is also helping to rebuild my self-esteem and hope in the future, which was damaged through the abuse I suffered from my ex-husband,” she says.

“He swore at me and said hurtful words to me. He dominated our conversations and wouldn’t let me have my own views and opinions.

“He sometimes slapped me, even when I was pregnant. I am thankful for the counselling I received through the POWA Thembisa office and the opportunity to learn various skills within the beauty industry.”

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Her heart has always been set on entrepreneurship rather than having a regular 9-to-5 job. She previously ran a business making ice cubes for a garage in her area.

Engaging with this #EndDomesticSilence skills development programme has sparked her entrepreneurial passion and flair.

“I enjoy what I do because I get to be creative with different colours and stickers,” she says.

“Running my own business means I have more time to do what I want because I’m not tied to a desk. I’m not controlled by anyone and can make and act on my own decisions on how I want to prosper.

“However, one challenge of being a business owner is making enough money to meet my own needs and then having enough to inject into the business.”

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In striving to be as successful as possible, she is currently undergoing a business administration course.

“My dream is to eventually open my own salon,” she says.

Survivors have also said it is assisting them to support their kids.

By bettering the lives of survivors and their children, the #EndDomesticSilence initiative is enabling women to better protect themselves from GBV, while positively impacting the lives of generations to come.

If you would like to buy the products and services of beneficiaries of this skills development programme, you can email

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