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A group of former soldiers and their beneficiaries have learned new skills that will help them earn a living. Helped by the City, they have been trained in coffin making and upholstery.
SHEDDING tears of joy, 50 people were congratulated for completing a five-month long training course that will allow them to use their creativity while earning a living.


Dimakatso congratulates SolomonSkills to Furnish's Dimakatso Mofokeng congratulates Solomon MpatuliCertificates were handed out at a ceremony held in the Soweto Empowerment Zone (SEZ), a support facility for small businesses in Diepkloof, on Friday, 4 March. They were commended for their dedication and passion. The training course ran from October 2010 to February this year.

The trainees were selected from the City’s database of former soldiers, or were their beneficiaries. The training was made possible by the City’s targeted beneficiaries unit, which falls under its economic development department, and was sponsored by the Forest Industries Education and Training Authority (Fieta).

Men were taught to make coffins; women learned upholstery, taught by Skills to Furnish International and African Dream Campus.

Speaking on behalf of the students, Solomon Mpatuli expressed his gratitude to the City, the government and Fieta.

“We are happy because we will be able to run our own businesses and support our families, unlike before when we were unemployed,” he said. “Now, myself and a few other students have registered a company where we will put into practice what we have learned on a bigger scale. I hope that everyone will use their skills [and] open businesses to create jobs for unemployed residents.”

Representing Skills to Furnish International, Dimakatso Mofokeng said: “It was such a great pleasure working with this group of learners. We never had a problem with any of them. They are passionate and self-driven individuals; wherever they are going, I know they will never let us down.”

Those who received training from African Dream Campus were also rewarded for going the extra mile, and they got certificates for consistency, most innovative, most improved, team work, leadership and attendance.

The trainees’ handiwork of coffins and couches was on show during the ceremony.

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