CAPE TOWN – Sheltersuit aims to expand their reach of shelter bags not just to assist the homeless but to create jobs for 300 seamstresses to help provide 400 000 shelter bags for those in need within a year.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, South Africa’s slow recovery begins, however, many are still left without basic needs such as food and shelter or left without jobs with the unemployment rate surging during the national lockdown with the latest unemployment rate statistic 30.1 percent.
Sheltersuit was started by Dutch designer, Bas Timmer, after a personal experience that brought the attention to the lack of proper shelter the homeless may face especially during colder times of the year which threatens the lives of those less fortunate.
Bas Timmer came to South Africa in November 2019 on a visit which led to an establishment of a South African branch of the Sheltersuit Foundation.
The foundation launched a pilot programme in Cape Town to manufacture and produce multifunctional products that provide the homeless with immediate shelter with the programme permanently employing 7 previously unemployed women with the organisation looking to expand the scale of their business to develop additional production plants throughout South Africa and in-turn create more jobs particularly for unemployed women and youth.
Sheltersuit works closely with various NGO’s reaching much-needed communities throughout the world with their products such as the sheltersuit and later on the shelterbag supporting over 10 000 people worldwide making for an easy and convenient shelter that can be rolled up, carried and setup nearly anywhere.
“Our ambition is to work with like-minded partners to ramp up production in South Africa to provide both shelter, warmth and dignity to South Africa’s homeless people, and working with relief agencies, to distribute our Shelterbags globally for disaster relief,” says Timmer.
“With the right partners and support, our goal is to employ 300 seamstresses who would be able to provide a Shelterbag to 400 000 homeless people in South Africa within a year. Also, the South Africa operation could supply additional Sheltersuit products to other markets because the cost of production is much lower here.”
The initiative looks to expand their reach with the assistance of all NGO’s and partners. For more information on the cause or how to contribute as an individual, please visit https://sheltersuit.com/ or find them on Facebook.
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