Creating employment

project partner:Jabulani
location:South Africa
funding period:1997, 2000, 2003

summary: Jabulani is a self-help centre for destitute children and families in Marianhill, on the outskirts of Durban, South Africa. Jabulani means 'happiness' in Zulu and that is what this project tries to bring to the lives of the people living in squatter camp settlements in and around Marianhill by empowering them in various ways to be self-sufficient.

Charlotte first visited Jabulani in 1997 and as a result Trade plus AidŽ funded candle-making and carpentry equipment and materials to expand these workshops, creating fairly-paid work for those members who rely on Jabulani.

In 2000, Trade plus Aid helped to provide two sea containers that were generously donated by the US corporation, Sea Containers America. The containers now provide much needed secure storage for the goods produced by the candle-making and sewing workshops.

In 2003, Sister Marco and the ladies at Jabulani requested help setting up a sewing project. Trade plus Aid responded by funding 8 sewing machines and an overlock. The sewing project now produces practical garments for sale to the local community. Click here for further details.

Jabulani, founded by Sr. Marco Gneiss and a handful of Zulu men, women and children in 1988 to offer practical assistance to jobless and homeless people, focuses on providing basic needs like food, shelter and education for its members.

Jabulani has developed into a tightly-bonded community, a safe and supportive place where its members work together to create a better future for themselves, their families and their immediate community.

Jabulani operates various workshops to provide people with training and work so they can,  in turn,  support their families and attain personal dignity. The workers' youngest children are cared for in the Jabulani creche and nursery school whilst Jabulani pays for the older children to attend local schools and organises after school activities and extra lessons at the centre. All members and their children are provided with nutritious meals from Jabulani's own kitchens and bakery.

Jabulani's door is always open to those in need and non-members are often entrusted with selling Jabulani candles and garments made by Jabulani in their own community, in return for food and other assistance.

Jabulani is a non-profit organisation. Any profit from the sale of goods is used to contribute towards operating costs but the centre relies upon contributions from individuals, churches and other concerned groups. For further information email:

Buying materials for sewing project - Poppy, Nora and Ali


"The emphasis of all Trade plus Aid's work is on self-help. Providing the support people need to overcome, by their own efforts, the problems which impress upon them"

-Charlotte di Vita MBE