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Significant dates in the Life of Learn to Earn

 

If you are looking for a walk down memory lane then you are in the right place.

 

April 1989 - LtE starts

August 1995 - Roché van Wyk appointed Director of LtE

March 1998 - 1st carpentry course started

March 1999 - at the request of the RDP Forum, LtE opens a branch in Hermanus to serve the community of Zwelihle. The Zwelihle community has up to 70% unemployment rate

January 2000 - 30 Jan opening of new complex in Khayelitsha, celebrated 10 years of ministry to the unemployed in the Khayelitsha community, what is remarkable is that we managed the building project ourselves and were able to complete the complex at 50% less than the budgeted costs

June 2000 - opened coffee shop at Khayelitsha

July 2001- "start-up programme' renamed Zakhele, 1st Business Achievers course graduates

Mid August 2001 - 1st sewing school at LtE Durbanville graduates under the instruction of Loretta Pietersen

September 2001 - 21 Sep - graduation of the first Desktop publishing course at LtE Khayelitsha

October 2001 - Staff retreat 'Experiencing the City'

Early 2002 - Housekeeping course introduced to skills courses offered at Hermanus

2002 - The LtE Business Resource Centre was formalised and registered

2002 - Staff retreat at Flora Bay, Hout Bay - 'Servant Leadership'

2003 - late 2003 The Encounter Course is developed

March 2004 - LtE celebrates its 15th birthday

March 2004 - 25th March - 1st LtE Golf Day held at De Zalze

2004 - Staff Retreat 'Site C – Khayelitsha'

2005 - LtE accredited with SETA and the Department of Labour

2005 - LtE closes the Durbanville Branch

October 2005 - Staff retreat 'Life Stories' - Noordhoek

March 2006 - 3 March - 1st Hermanus Golf Day

2006 - LtE received an award of excellence from Impumelelo Innovations

2007 - LtE Association is launched

January 2007 - LtE Head Office in Rondebosch is opened

February 2007 - LtE receives a gold award from Impumelelo Innovations

August 2007 - staff retreat 'Time to Receive' Carmel, Victoria Bay, George

February 2008 - 1st Graphic Design Course and Office Administration Course start at LtE Khayelitsha

April 2008 - 10 April - the first sod was turned for the building of the new LtE Hermanus branch

September 2008 - staff retreat 'Time to Build' - Habitat for Humanity house build

November 2008 - commencement of the new building at LtE Khayelitsha

March 2009 - LtE celebrates 20 years

March 2009 - Hemanus staff move into their new state-of-the-art purpose-built building and celebrate 10 years in Hermanus

May 2009 - The 'tfg' store opens

September 2009 - Staff retreat 'Integrity' - Wortlegat, Stanford

December 2009 - LtE Head office moves to 79 Belvedere Road, Claremont

January 2010 - Khayelitsha staff move in to their new building

May 2010 - The tfg Store celebrates its 1st birthday

August 2010 - Khanya bag range wins Best Product Award at the South Africa Hand Made Collection, Decorex, Johannesburg

August 2010 - LtE Hermanus Opera Evening

September 2010 - Staff retreat 'Building Blocks' - Goedgedacht Farm, Riebeek Kasteel

September - November 2010 - 'I give a duck' Campaign

November 2010 - Awareness and fundraising Quiz Evening, Powerscourt Golf Estate, Ireland

March 2011 - Awareness and fundraising Quiz Evening, South Africa House, London, UK

June 2011 - Opening of the Hermanus Coffee Shop

July 2011 - 16 – took part in the Nelson Mandela Foundation's Legacy Canvas cocktail party

                 29 – LtE Quiz and dinner, Mutual Park, Pinelands

September 2011 - Staff retreat 'Ingredients for Life' – Bridges Centre, Franschhoek

March 2012 - 15th – the 9th LtE Golf Day takes place

May 2012 - Alpha Course run for the 1st time at LtE

June 2012 - Commencement of training partnership with the City of Cape Town

July 2012 - 27th - LtE Awareness dinner dance at Suikerbossie

August 2012 - 25th – the 15th LtE AGM

September 2012 - Staff retreat - Volmoed, Hermanus

October 2012 - 1st Association Workshop takes place

December 2012 - Graphic Design showcase held at Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch

March 2013 - 1st time a group rides for LtE in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay cycle race

April 2013 - 10th Golf Day takes place

May 2013 - 2nd feel good Project store opens at the Harare Square tfgP Offices, Harare Khayelitsha

August 2013 - LtE awareness dinner dance at Suikerbossie – The Epic Adventure

September 2013 - Staff retreat 'Integration & Purpose' – Bridges Centre, Franchhoek

September 2013 - 2nd Association Workshop

October 2013 - Point of Sale Course starts at LtE Hermanus

October 2013 - Call Centre Course starts at LtE Khayelitsha

November 2013 - Graphic Design Showcase held at TFG design Centre

December 2013 - Gilbert Muchanyara graduates from the E³ programme

March 2014 - LtE Celebrates 25 years of impacting the unemployed

March 2014 - 2nd time a group rides for LtE in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay cycle race

April 2014 - Technical Skills Course started at LtE Hermanus

May 2014 - LtE Quiz Evening at Jubilee Community Church

July 2014 - Sewing Production Line Course starts at LtE Khayelitsha

July/August 2014 - Staff retreat 'The Lord's Prayer', Carmel, George

August 2014 - 17th Annual General Meeting

September 2014 - LtE Dinner at Suikerbossie Restaurant celebrating 25 years of impacting unemployed

December 2014 - Zukisa Fono graduates from the E³ programme

February 2015 – Ground UP Cape Town starts training

March 2015 – Team of riders represents Learn to Earn in the Cape Town Cycle Tour

June 2015 – Ground UP Johannesburg starts training

July 2015 – Staff retreat takes place at Almond Bridge Guest House, Malmesbury

August 2015 – 18th LtE AGM

November 2015 – Graphic Design Exhibition at the iZiko National Gallery annexe

 

LtE has trained over 11 500 unemployed people since 1989. The annual average of 79% of our graduates become economically active, 13% of which are self-employed.

 

Branch managers

Hermanus
Joan Mackee - Feb 1999 -Sep 2000
Laura Allais - October 2000 - April 2003
Rina Maree - April 2003 - September 2009
LesleyAnne James - August 2010 - January 2012
Edwin Brooks - June 2012 - August 2014
Martin Isaacs - November 2014 - present

Durbanville Branch
Melt van der Spry
Mark Anthony

Khayelitsha Branch
Paul Sturrock - 1999 - 2004
Susan Wishart - November 2004 - January 2009
Rod Hopley - Feb 2009 - December 2010
Martin Isaacs - March 2011 - October 2014
Desiree Ulster - August 2015 - present

Chairmen of the Executive Board
Ian MacDonald - 1996-2001
Neville Goodwin - 2001-2002
Neil Macdonald - 2002-2010
Jerry van Niekerk - 2010-2012
Neil Macdonald - 2013 - present

The first ten years: 1989-1999

The name "Khayelitsha" kept coming into Doug Fisher's mind as he drove through the night to Cape Town, where he and his wife Yvonne were relocating from Durban. Feeling sure that God was leading them to make this move – yet uncertain as to what the future might hold. In Cape Town, Doug discovered that Khayelitsha was a fast growing Township about 30km from the city. He met up with an old school friend, who had come to faith in a Baptist church, and had contacts in Khayelitsha.

Doug, was given two rooms in the municipal offices in Khayelitsha, free of charge for a year. He envisaged running literacy lasses as he had been involved with a church-based NGO in Durban teaching literacy. He organised for a literacy teacher from Durban to teach Nomvula (Patience) Zali, a Khayelitsha resident, how to run literacy classes. Unfortunately there was very little interest from the community, with just one man graduating.

Not one to give up easily, Doug decided rather to offer sewing, knitting and crocheting classes, which were taught by Patience. Yvonne drew up a detailed basic sewing course and later an advanced course which Bukelwa (Vivian) Mfundisi taught when she joined the project. The project was called the 'Baptist Training Project' because the Fishers came to faith in the Baptist Church, Hillcrest Natal. The Project letterhead had the heading: "A Hand up – Not a Hand Out". The slogan "Learn to Earn" was to give donors and the community the correct perspective on the project. All clothing and bedding made had the label "Good News Gear" Khayelitsha on them.

When the project moved to a small portable classroom in Site C, after the 1st year , theft was a big problem along with the political violence. Whenever he was able to, Doug visited past students in their homes, and was encouraged to see how many of the women were empowered by being able to sew.

The response from the community towards the project was mixed. However, in the six years that Doug ran the Baptist Training Project he aimed to make the project a haven of peace and tranquillity amidst the political violence. He has said that he never once regretted going to start the work in Khayelitsha, and seldom felt fearful during the political violence, always seeking God's protection. He believed firmly that God called LtE into existence, and when he decided his time at the project was coming to an end he prayed for a younger person with enthusiasm and energy, as well as being a pastor with practical skills, to take over the leadership of the project. Doug's prayers were answered in the form of Roché van Wyk who started as Director of LtE in August 1995. Roché has a background in the engineering field has been a pastor and had just returned from completing a degree in Urban Missions and Intercultural Studies in the USA.

Doug's vision of the project being a resource centre to help start other training centres elsewhere never realised during his time, but has since been, with the opening of the Hermanus Branch of Learn to Earn in February 1999.

Roché van Wyk formalised the project in 1995, the name was change to the Learn to Earn Training Project and a board was established locally and an advisory and representative board established in the USA.