Although she left her home in Chatsworth several years ago – to get married, raise a family and start up a successful construction business, JasJian,  award winning business woman Jacqueline Pillay’s heart has always been with the members of the Chatsworth community, especially the women, and in particular, the women who battle to find employment.

Jacqueline’s dream was to start a job creation project for women in the community, and on March 6, her dream came true when she opened Femme Forte with a team of workmates and friends.  Over 40 local women who come from various walks of life, and who have battled to get into the workplace, signed up on the day to learn various skills that could end up changing their own situation – and that of their families – for the better.  On offer, and free of charge, is training in sewing, catering and beadwork, with more options to follow.  Classes will be held on a regular basis and although several volunteers have come forward to help teach the ladies, Jacqui is still looking for more instructors, particularly on the sewing and beading side.  She is also looking for a supplier of wholesale material, cooking equipment, and ingredients.

Explained Jacqueline “This is a non-profit community project and it would be wonderful to see the whole community getting behind it to help these women who are doing their very best to raise their families on very little money.”  She added:  “ While women’s empowerment serves in granting economic independence to women, it also serves in contributing and benefiting the household and society as a whole. Pressure on one individual to earn a family’s living can be too much to bear, which is why it is right to share the burden.  It would be wonderful if we could gradually uproot poverty from our country by facilitating proper distribution of wealth per household.  Femme Forte is here to help with that concept.”

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