Vukani-Ubuntu is a community development non-profit in South Africa that focuses on skills training, job placement, and entrepreneurship for historically disadvantage individuals.
Since 1999, Vukani-Ubuntu has established 8 community development and skills training projects in South Africa. The program offers a free 3 year diploma in Jewelry Design & Manufacturing, and helps graduates with job placement. Vukani-Ubuntu provides the machinery, tools, and materials in a safe & productive environment. They have a marketing department to manage the marketing, orders, production, and sales of jewellery, and aspiring entrepreneurs are trained in these skills. The organization also provides students with a route to market- presenting student work in local markets and arts & crafts shops, as well as developing South African Fair Made jewelry.
Vukani-Ubuntu currently trains more than 100 students and has created more than 150 full time jobs. The project provides jewelers with exposure the national & international exhibitions, and offers tours of their facilities.
Anel Laas described for us how Vukani-Ubuntu is growing:
“The Vukani-Ubuntu project has reached a ceiling and the only way for them to become self-sustainable is to engage in business – Jewellery sales through Fair Trade…We started 2 new projects- GoldZone & LJC that will employ the graduated learners from the projects that have the potential to become Small Business Owners (SMME). These projects are the first Development & Commercial partnership in the Jewellery industry. The idea is to support the SMMEs with business training & mentorship and to later help them to set up their own business. This leads to job creation & future beneficiation to the area.”
Vukani-Ubuntu sells student-made South African Fair Made Jewellery, as well as corporate gifts like key chains and envelope openers.
For more information, see www.vukani.org