The ability to inspire and touch are two incredible ways in which we, as humans, connect to one another. Both of these are intricately related to community, because they both require the reliance of one person on someone, or something else (i.e. other than oneself). Two organisations that I have come to know and admire, which are both community-based and have a very strong “mompreneur” drive at heart, are: Pure Touch and Inspire Children and Youth.
Pure Touch is a social enterprise that teaches women from the vulnerable community of Ocean View, Cape Town the skill of knitting and crocheting. This in turn helps them to create beautiful, high-quality and sustainable products that make a difference to the environment whilst uplifting themselves, their families and their community.
Meet Mompreneur Nadja Ernst, here photographed with her 2 children.
In September 2019, after reading an article about kitchen scrubs containing microplastics that eventually disintegrate and end up in our oceans, she decided to use her crocheting skills to make her own, eco-friendly and biodegradable kitchen scrubs and dish cloths. Her passion for environmentally friendly products and sustainable resources soon developed into a small business: Pure Touch.
Nadja quickly realised the need for more hands to help with the knitting and crocheting to grow the business. Being a social worker, she felt drawn to the women in the vulnerable community of Ocean View. She wanted to offer them the opportunity to earn an income and thereby support themselves and their families. In February 2020, this dream became a reality when Marie Mueller, who was already working in Ocean View, joined Nadja. What started off as a small business now became much more than just that: a social enterprise selling beautifully handmade, eco-friendly products but with the focus on building relationships and a community of women that support each other, learn new skills and generate income for themselves within a business structure. Pure Touch journeys and partners with women of the Ocean View community, Cape Town.
Ruth is one of the members of the Pure Touch community. Ruth lives in a house in Ocean View with her 4 children and 6 grandchildren (photographed below). When Ruth was young her passion was ballroom dancing; she even took part in competitions. After that she worked doing various things but trained mainly as a stone mason. “I guess you could call me a Jack of all trades!”, says Ruth. “My mother was a very caring person and I got a heart for people through that. My passion is to be a good friend and take care of people who are down and out. I like Pure Touch because of the ladies in the team- for the understanding we share. And also of course to have an income to support myself.”
Ruth is responsible for making these beautiful pink crochet baskets, pictured above. The baskets are made with 100% A-grade natural cotton yarn produced and dyed locally n South Africa, then twisted into the macrame twine. Follow the link in the picture above to purchase one of these hand-crafted baskets. They are the perfect container to hold a few goodies (make a selection from the Mompreneur Gift Page!), to give as a complete gift.
Inspire Children and Youth Trust is an organisation that helps rural farm women create an alternative rural economy on Middelpos farm to help end poverty and restore human dignity. Their aim is to: nurture dreams, inspire rural people to achieve, and create safe spaces for children and young people to thrive. However, INSPIRE is so much more than just an organisation. It is a heart to see people’s lives being changed; to place hope and dreams in the hearts of vulnerable women and children and give them the means to create their own bright futures.
“Give a person a fish and she will have limited food for one day. Teach a person how to fish and give them the kick-start tools to fish and they will have unlimited food for the rest of their lives. That is our version of the well-known saying,” says Ingrid Lestrade, founder of Inspire. “In the case of Middelpos farm, the children wanted to learn JUDO. They needed money. They learned how to grow organic vegetables to make money for their JUDO and to eat so that they have energy to stay awake before and during Judo matches. They soon INSPIREd their mothers and grannies to help them in Auntie Judith’s Food Garden. The food garden soon became a safe space to grow food, feed 900 farm families and help pay for the costs of the children’s JUDO programme.”
There are so many beautiful stories being born at Middelpos farm; so many lives being changed and new futures being built. It is not without its challenges, of course, but there are many “INSPIREpreneurs”, as Ingrid calls them, being empowered at Middelpos, who are in turn, empowering and inspiring others.
Support the dreams of the Mompreneurs and “INSPIREpreneurs” at Middelpos farm, by purchasing their delicious home-grown produce. Follow the links in the pictures above to buy their jams and preserves or go to our Mompreneurs Gift Shop Page to see a larger selection of Mompreneur gifts.
To learn more about Ingrid’s heart for the children at Middelpos farm, watch this short video below:
Read all about the other Mompreneurs we are celebrating this month of May.