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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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Dreams

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If you visit CAST’s Youth Development Programme in KwaDabeka, you will meet many young, aspiring men who have dreams of using their God-given talents. Rasta is one of those young men. Being on the basketball team has allowed Rasta to realize his dreams again of going back and finishing high school.

Two years ago, Rasta dropped out of tenth grade. He has five siblings, and his dad is a single parent because their mom passed. As a gardener, Rasta’s dad struggles to provide for the family.

Rasta’s motivation is to be a good influence for his family. His goal has been to work part-time while he finishes high school, and be able to graduate in the next two years by the time he turns 23.

During the past couple of weeks, Rasta has taken the first step in the direction of his dreams. Thanks to Cox Manufacturing, a local air-conditioning and ventilation component manufacturer, Rasta is now able to work part-time to support his family while also pursuing school.

Cox Manufacturing’s relationship with CAST’s Youth Development Programme first began when the company’s Managing Director, Mike Cox, volunteered at boys2Men Camp. Cox Manufacturing has become a major supporter of CAST’s Youth Development Programme, even employing a few of the young men in the programme.

After graduating high school, Rasta would like to use his God-given artistic talents and creativity to study graphic design. Thanks to Cox Manufacturing, Rasta is on his way to achieving his dreams.

CAST’s Youth Development Programme believes that every youth has God-given potential that should be nurtured. Because of supporters such as Cox Manufacturing, young people like Rasta are able to pursue their dreams.

If you are interested in impacting the life of a young person through CAST’s Youth Development programme, please consider sponsoring a young man to attend boys2Men Camp this year. One weekend away at camp can transform the life of a young person just like Rasta. Young men are able to take a break from life in the township to encounter God, while also learning from speakers, enjoying great food, and having a blast with activities and games. After attending camp, young men come back home ready to be a light in their own communities by giving back.

It only takes R350 to sponsor a young man to attend boys2Men camp. Boys are expected to raise some of their own funds, but every year, CAST’s Youth Development Programme helps with any additional costs they are unable to cover.

Another way you can get involved is through mentoring a Youth Development Programme participant such as Rasta.  By meeting only a couple times a month to give a listening ear and share some wisdom, you can make a huge difference in the life of a young person.

If either of these opportunities to impact youth interest you, please contact George Mwaura, CAST’s Youth Development Manager at george@cast.org.za or 0795967364.