As the country continues to battle with the surge of gender-based violence (GBV), Ultrapex - a non-profit organization founded by a young man - aims to transform women’s lives by developing their entrepreneurship skills in the North West province.
The Mahikeng-based NGO has manufactured reusable sanitary pads that it donates to the less privileged women. These pads were produced through Ultrapex Production Technology programme driven by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA).
Ultrapex founder, Rethabile Molapisi, said his passion for wanting to empower women was derived from his mother’s struggles as a teen mom.
“My mother had me when she was 17 years old, so I grew up witnessing her struggles. She was my motivation, together with the women that were around when I grew up. My mother is currently the president of this organization, her name is Rakgadi Kefilwe Pilane. Despite everything that she went through, she is still strong and encouraging other women. Women still have love even though the world is negative towards them,” Molapisi said.
He said his NGO has granted 50 women learnership opportunities.
“We have a one-year production technology learnership, which has fifty women participants. They are taught about the production technology of the manufacturing of clothes. The programme started this year. At the end of the programme they will be graduating and receiving their certificates. This will empower them to start their own businesses when they are done,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Naledi Matlou, said she hopes to one day start her own clothing factory.
“I was unemployed, I was actually part of the stats of unemployment in the country. When I joined this programme I started receiving a stipend every month and it helps me a lot because I am able to provide for my needs. But most importantly is that the programme develops me and helps to prepare me for my future. As a bonus, we are also getting qualifications. So nothing stops me from starting my own factory in the future,” Matlou said.
The NGO has created job opportunities for more than 1000 people as part of its poverty alleviation efforts.