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[MOVE BEYOND CHARITY] CAST Newsletter Vol.2 April/May 2020

Greetings, CAST Community!

Today we bring your our second quarterly newsletter for 2020:

 

Click here to download the pdf: CAST Newsletter Vol.2 APRIL_MAY_2020.

Watch this space for more about our ministry highlights and upcoming events.

Feel free to share with all who are interested in the movement beyond charity!

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Making it Work: LED during lockdown

Since the enforcement of the national lockdown on 27 March to stem the spread of the Coronavirus in South Africa, CAST faced the challenge of suspending programmes normally held in group settings at the 13 communities in which we operate.

Our Local Economic Development programme seeks to teach business skills and introduce new opportunities to those already running small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs). Over a period of 9 – 18 weeks, the entrepreneurs take part in the Paradigm Shift Business Experience and Business Growth courses facilitated by volunteers and mentors. This curriculum aims to not only educate, but spiritually uplift as the content takes its lead from Holy Scripture.

With this programme suspended, CAST was determined to explore different ways of staying connected with our participants, so as to not lose the tremendous progress they have achieved. Through WhatsApp groups set up for each community of entrepreneurs, we have been able to conduct weekly business forums accessible to all who are interested, creating the space to share ideas, opportunities and prayer requests.

While many are facing severe economic challenges with a sudden loss of income due to enforced business closure and limitations on part-time work, Shakira from Phoenix in Durban is one such entrepreneur who has been motivated by the programme and identified the opportunity to produce cloth face masks, an essential item of personal protective equipment during this time.

The business forum WhatsApp group has been a great idea as we can’t attend our weekly classes. And having this group, we are able to communicate with each other. Janet has been a great help and God-send as she has dedicated her time to helping and assisting us through this lockdown period. Janet has assisted us in continuing with our studies via this means of communication and help us with our business plans/profile. She is passionate and helpful and is always willing to assist where she can. We get to share our weekly experiences with the group and find new ways or ideas on how to use this lockdown time to valuable use.

I have completed my business profile and with the help of Janet, I have to adjust and make a few changes. I am hoping this will improve and grow my business. The lockdown had not been good financially for my business as I have no income due to people being quarantined, but I do believe God has a bigger plan for me. We get to send our prayer requests weekly and Janet prays for our needs. I am truly blessed to be part of this incredible family.

Above: cloth face masks produced by Shakira

Below is more feedback received from other members of the WhatsApp Business Forums:

My business is not registered yet, I sell different things to people, but what I can say is, whenever we converse in our WhatsApp group I learn more about business. My very next step after lockdown is to register my business. Before CAST, I had studied business economics and economics at school and have had a learnership that I’m still busy with, it’s also about managing businesses or organisations. But the magic is only happening now.

The networking conference that was organised by CAST earlier this year, the WhatsApp group, the way CAST doesn’t let go of us, it nurtures me. I never thought that after we have graduated, we will still have a relationship with CAST. Every time I’m with my entrepreneurs’ group, it’s just a confirmation that I was meant to be in business. There was a time when I wanted to quit because I was learning common stuff during the class, but I’m glad I didn’t quit because CAST presents business from a different angle. It’s moving us beyond charity, as the CAST slogan says😃

– Surprise, Lamontville

 

The WhatsApp group business forum has been very helpful in a sense that there is a lot of information shared about how people in business can get help from the government. Also information about how people can get a social grant if they are not employed. It’s like a community where we can share our feelings about the lockdown and it’s also a platform where we receive information.

– Noxolo, Mariannridge

 

The WhatsApp group business forum is doing well. It’s making things easier for us to share business ideas and everything relating to business and CAST community. This platform is really amazing as we lift each other through this business journey with business profiles/business registration, business plans and other ideas.

I would like to thank Janet Okoye and Khetho Morgan Mdluli.

God bless you guys and we are very happy to be part of this platform.

THANK YOU CAST, you are transforming our lives 

Stay indoors healthy and safe.

– Thobani, Lamontville

 

If you are interested in mentoring our entrepreneurs or would like to get involved in the Business Forum WhatsApp groups contact head of CAST’s Local Economic Development programme Janet Okoye at: janet@cast.org.za or 083 990 2090.

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CAST COVID-19 Emergency Response

CAST Community,

As you may know, South Africa will begin a 21-day lockdown from midnight on 26 March until 16 April 2020 to stem the spread of Coronavirus.

Many of the needy in the communities where CAST operates will be severely affected by limited access to food and basic necessities during this time.

Join our project to pack and distribute 500 food parcels in the next 2 days by donating the items below or making a contribution of R250 per bucket.

1kg samp
5kg maize
490g peanut butter
375ml oil
1kg beans
1kg Morvite / any porridge
500g soya mince
1kg flour
1 bar soap
(and anything extra you might want to add!)

Donated items can be dropped off at the Home Ground Westville Baptist Church Youth Centre (2 Church Place, Westville) or the CAST Head Office (17 Langford Road, Westville)

For online donations: https://www.cast.org.za/product/donate-now

Banking Details:
Account name: CAST
Bank: First National Bank
Account no: 62825576301
Ref: Corona

On behalf of those we serve, we thank you for your prayers and support.

#CAST #movebeyondcharity #jointhemovement #coronavirus #covid19 #donate

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God in the Business: Slindile’s Story

                                                          

37-year-old businesswoman from Skhawini in Northern KZN, Slindile Gwala, shares her story of how CAST’s Local Economic Development programme has helped her develop her baking business and strengthen her relationship with God. 

‘’Before I joined CAST last year, I was not doing anything. I was not baking cakes, I was not making any hats, no flower arranging. I didn’t have a qualification for skills. Basically, I did electrical training from level 1-4. I stayed home and applied for jobs but, no luck.

Then, I went back to study Education for 4 years. Still, I was unemployed until CAST came to our church, Esikhawini Baptist Church and introduced one of their 4 main programmes which is Local Economic Development. Mama Janet explained why it is important to start your own business. The reason why I joined the programme is because I also did know how and where to start a business, how to select your customers, how to collect my money from debtors, but she said something that touched my heart, ‘’we are afraid of what we don’t know.’’  She was right. “I can do something instead of waiting for being employed, especially since our country is faced with a high rate of unemployment and time is against me.

Now, I am working with another company. They sent me their product so I can also sell it this side, then I get paid as well and now I don’t have to wait and depend on my husband to give me money. I can provide for myself.

Even though I was a Christian before CAST, during the training they also taught us about the importance of God in your business. Everything starts from God. During our training sessions, we stop and make time for worship as if we were at our Sunday service.

What I like more about this programme is that it does not exclude those who are not Christian, but everyone is welcome. I would like to recruit more people who are non-Christian to be part of the programme. Now I have joined another CAST programme which is Education & Child Development. I always love to work with kids and this programme has taught me something I didn’t know, like sounds -how to pronounce words to the younger children. So, we will be helping young children with reading and writing. I am looking forward to helping our future leaders.

What I would like CAST to also do is introduce their Youth Development programme to support youth who feel rejected by their community because of their past behaviour , as well as for the older generation to be more understanding of current issues facing the youth. Going forward, my dream is to grow my business and become a supplier of baking goods to big stores.’’ To help make this possible for Slindile and many other entrepreneurs in our communities, contact CAST Head of Local Economic Development, Janet Okoye at: janet@cast.org.za or call (031) 266 8830.

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[MOVE BEYOND CHARITY] CAST Newsletter Vol.1 Jan/Feb/March 2020

Greetings CAST Community! We are excited to bring you our first quarterly newsletter for 2020:

Download the full pdf document here: CAST Newsletter Vol. 1 _ JAN_FEB_MARCH 2020

Watch this space for more about our ministry highlights and upcoming events.

Feel free to share with all who are interested in the movement beyond charity!

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Early Literacy Graduation 2019

We are so proud of the learners in our Early Literacy programme for showing a remarkable improvement in their reading and writing skills this year!

5 years ago, we were called to partner with a local organization, Wordworks to help build a brighter future for those children in our communities who need extra assistance at school in the foundation phase.

We are ever-grateful to our generous donors and faithful volunteers who have made this possible by reaching out to make a lasting difference in these young lives.

For more information on how you can get involved, contact us at: info@cast.org.za or call (031) 266 8830.