Empowered Women

Meet the ambitious, hardworking and motivated women who have been part of MRP Foundation’s youth development programmes
MRP Foundation positively impacted 3,287 women in 2018, which is 75% of Jump Start beneficiaries

2018 ushered in a new season for the Professional Retail class of 2017. Photograph: MRP Foundation / Erika Trnovcova


August is the month to celebrate women and we’re proud to say that we have many ambitious, hardworking and motivated women who have been part of MRP Foundation’s youth development programmes. This year, through our work readiness programme alone, we have positively impacted 3,287 women, which is 75% of our Jump Start beneficiaries.

Aspirant Jump Starter, Nonsikelelo Ninela, graduated top of the Pre-Production Programme course in 2017 and was employed as a sample chaser by a Pietermaritzburg-based manufacturer immediately after completing the programme. Nonsi says that her mother, a former domestic worker is her role model and the strongest woman she knows. She thrives on these words of inspiration from her mother, “It doesn’t matter how or where you start. If you have a dream, chase it and start from the bottom, so you know that you have worked very hard to be where you are.” Read Nonsi’s inspiring story here.

All three graduates from the Jump Start Professional Retail Programme in 2017 were women, their top marks and admirable work ethic placing Ntombenhle Dlamini (3rd place/ Hang in There Award), Khadjia Dada (1st place / Cutting Edge Award) and Nadine Moonsamy (2nd place/ Best Fit Award) in the top of their class. The internship developed the young graduates into well-rounded professional retailers, with all three landing jobs at the end of the testing course. Read their story here.

Another top placing student was Lutfiyya Gafoor, who was the top footwear graduate of the Jump Start Pre-Production Programme in 2016. She’s currently a Co-ordinator for excess raw materials at a footwear manufacturer in Pietermaritzburg. As a young Muslim female, Lutfiyya is chartering unexplored career territories in terms of her community. “My job does not relate to my religion. I am breaking the typical traditional career choices in terms of the professional path I have chosen for myself. I am hard-working, focused, and I have very high professional standards,” says Lutfiyya. Read Lutfiyya’s story here.

Lethukuthula Mlambo graduated from the Jump Start Professional Retail Internship in 2017, where she was equipped with critical retail industry skills, as well as experience throughout the whole value chain, from the manufacturer right through to stores and the support centre. She hopes to be a force of good in her community saying, “Most South African communities have a high rate of financial illiteracy and lack of financial planning. I would love to give back to the community by educating them about finances and the importance of financial planning.” Read Lethu’s story here.

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