This Spring, Sorbet hit a six-figure SEW (Sorbet Empowering Women) milestone by raising over R1million for its SEW Academy.

This social initiative, created in partnership with The Clothing Bank, a non-profit organisation focused on empowering unemployed mothers to social and financial independence, aims to improve the earning potential and circumstances of previously disadvantaged women in South Africa by providing them with training and full-time employment as qualified nail technicians within the Sorbet Group.

Thanks to the sale of 60,000 SEW bracelets sold in Sorbet stores nationwide, over and above additional fundraising initiatives and support from key beneficiaries such as the Jobs Fund, and The Clothing Bank, the R1m raised has helped to train and provide employment for 53 women. Additionally, according to SEW partner, Relate Bracelets, this has achieved a ripple effect of positively impacting over 350 people, daily.

“While it is certainly a milestone to be celebrated, SEW has a long way to go in terms of achieving its overarching goal: to secure employment for 145 women by March 2018,” says Jade Kirkel, Marketing Manager of Sorbet Group.

With an estimated cost of R25,000 per graduate course – or the sale of 510 SEW bracelets – SEW needs to raise roughly R2.9m over the next year to make the kind of change they’ve committed to championing.

To help achieve this goal, in 2015, Sorbet launched Amazi, offering high-quality beauty treatments at affordable prices, which predominantly employs nail technicians from the SEW Academy. Exciting fundraising initiatives are also underway and in the pipeline across the Sorbet Group to further secure SEW’s success.

Speaking of the opportunity she received, SEW graduate Sinoxolo Qondongo says, “I no longer feel disadvantaged, I feel like I have changed my circumstance into an opportunity and said yes to being a better person.”

Lungile Mbambo, another proud SEW graduate, agrees: “SEW has given me the skills I needed to make a significant change to my life. I am confident and can face many challenges because I am empowered. Nothing defeats my mind and I always know that taking responsibility of my life is the key to success and not expect other people to do it for me.”

This article was first published by Professional Beauty on 24 October 2016.