New “stitching” Course at Salesian Institute in South Africa Empowering Young Women

Salesian Waves of Change program helps young women in South Africa gain skills for employment. Credit: Salesian Missions

Young women enrolled at the Salesian Institute Youth Projects’ Waves of Change program in South Africa’s Cape Town Catholic Archdiocese are receiving additional skills that are contributing to their empowerment.

In a Tuesday, July, 25 report, officials of the Salesian Missions, the U.S.-based development arm of the members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), say those involved in the Salesian initiative in Cape Town city “recently added a ‘Stitching Ahead’ course to teach young women hand-sewing and machine-sewing techniques.”

In the report, a Salesian missionary in the Southern African nation is quoted explaining the nature of the new course. 

“The course starts with two weeks of life skills training followed by the three-month sewing course that will enable participants to sew basic garments for their use or to generate income through a home-based business,” he explains.

The SDB missionary adds that the goal of the new “stitching” course “is to help young women in Cape Town and surrounding areas gain the skills for employment.”


The July 25 Salesian Missions report indicates that “since 1910, the Salesian Institute Youth Projects has been helping homeless, unemployed and impoverished youth.”

SDB members have continued to “provide shelter, education and workforce development services in an effort to meet the basic needs of the youth they serve while helping them break the cycle of poverty,” the report further indicates.

“The Salesian Institute Youth Projects provides five main programs that help youth in the region,” Salesian Missions officials say about the Cape Town programs, which they further say include “an outreach program, a hostel for homeless youth, a learn-to-live education program and two workforce development programs.”

“The programs are managed by a diverse group of individuals, and some live on the premises to support youth in the hostel and outreach programs,” the report further indicates. 

Salesian officials say that all the programs require minimal levels of education, adding that “jobs in the fishing industry can provide a significant income and a stable career path.”

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They say that the fishing industry becomes more beneficial to the youth at the institute because it is “close to the Cape Town harbor, which provides an opportunity to train youth interested in fishing. This also ensures a steady labor force for the industry.”

SDB officials explain, “All participants complete a 10-day life skills program. They then go on to complete safety and familiarization courses, obtain their medical certificates, and meet other requirements. Once all training and document requirements have been completed, youth can be legally employed by a fishing company.”

Students in the fishing Industry, the Salesian officials say, benefit from established partnerships, including STC Table Bay, the Academy of Maritime Medicine, and Pulse College which offer free training and assistance.

“Salesian missionaries have continued to nurture long-standing partnerships with Sea Harvest, Premier Fishing, the Oceana Group, and others that hire graduates of the project,” the officials of the U.S.-based development arm of SDB say in the July 25 report.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.