“We are standing here today, on holy ground,” famed activist Reverend Jesse Jackson started his speech to a crowd of dancing supporters at the Nelson Mandela Pease park in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth. He visited the Eastern Cape as he was the guest speaker at the Govan Mbeki memorial lecture in Port Elizabeth. For this tour he went throughout the area looking at community development projects to see how far South Africa has come in its first 20 years of democracy.
After his emotive speech, Mayor Ben Fihla directed Reverend Jackson to Treppie, MEDO’s mobile entrepreneurship incubator. During the week of the Reverend’s visit, Treppie toured the Motherwell township, offering business development workshops, as well as giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to sign up for MEDO programmes. Reverend Jackson entered Treppie, and even tried out the work stations for himself, with MEDO project manager Nolu Tutani showing him how to apply for MEDO programmes.
After his visit, he stood on Treppie’s steps with the mayor whilst waving the South African flag with the crowd singing their support. After the Reverend’s departure, the crowd of about 100-people strong filed into Treppie one by one to register themselves for programmes and workshops that were to be hosted during the rest of the week.
Poverty truly is a weapon of destruction, and only when the community is empowered by being able to provide for themselves will this enemy be defeated. Treppie is just one of many MEDO projects that aims just this, to empower communities through the gift of skills.