From one local resident’s desire to give sewing skills to empower local rural woman with the ability to support themselves, Embocraft has grown into a centre for training the local community in sewing, textile craft, basic computer and welding skills. A mentorship programme provides post skills development support in order to maximise the benefit of their training. It enables graduates to generate additional income and thereby improve their quality of life.
In 1986 Brenda Locke, a local housewife decided that she was going to do something about the poverty in rural Botha’s Hill. She persuaded 3 women to attend a sewing class in a disused stable on her property and the following day 7 arrived, by the second week she had 60 women. She taught them everything from basic garment making on a sewing machine to embroidery, patchwork, weaving and dyeing. In 1988 Embocraft Trust was born and with generous assistance from Lions International, buildings went up and a Craft Shop and Training Centre now stand on the Old Main Road in Botha’s Hill. Look out for the larger than life wire and paper mache animals outside.
Visit to see the local craft skills. The shop has a range of the products produced, from lovely shweshwe aprons to tie dyes sarongs. You can also request commission work as the welding department’s trainer makes stunning wrought iron bed headboards, lights and other things from his wheel chair! A wood craftsman works there too and makes great items for the garden. Funds raised in the shop go to the community and makers.