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Afriski launches centre for young entrepreneurs

Bataung Moeketsi

AFRISKI Mountain Resort has established an incubation centre for young entrepreneurs called Eagle Hub.

Located at Whistler Camp near the resort’s entrance, Eagle Hub unofficially started offering entrepreneurial training and skills development in March 2019 at the resort’s camp located in the Drakensberg-Maluti mountains, in Butha-Buthe. However, it has recently started stepping up its efforts.

For 10 days, with two sessions monthly and practicals in between, groups of 50 to 60 learners will be trained in different skills. Ten to 13-year-olds enrol in the Junior Eagle Entrepreneurial Leadership (JEEL) programme. Seventeen to 25-year-olds enrol in the Senior Eagle Entrepreneurial Leadership (SEEL) programme.

Afriski staff will teach the trainees critical skills in order to attain a Responsive Leadership qualification. Additionally, members of the centre partake in arts activities including sewing masks (in response to the COVID-19 outbreak), sewing fitted sheets, making African happy pants clothing, baking produce that will supplied to local businesses and silkscreen print.

Tourists will also be permitted to visit the centre and partake in interactive activities.

The resort invested over M500 000 on the project, which is registered as a non-profit organisation (NPO). Afriski is collaborating with Lesotho Rise, who sit on the company’s board.

Lesotho Rise is a multi-levelled platform consisting of community members, the government, educational institutions, local and international businesses, organisations and churches. The movement adopted occupational intelligence principles, a step-by-step approach that looks to create problem solving individuals who are self-driven.

Earlier this week, Afriski told the Xpress People that they are working towards starting several satellite centres across Lesotho. The first satellite Eagle Hub will be built in the village of Moteng in the Butha-Buthe district.

Afriski’s general manager, Vivienne Schultz, said pupils will learn new skills and develop existing talents at the centres which will “create the footprint which will enable the development of social tourism routes”.

“The vision of the programme is to move people and communities to positions of dignity and self-reliance,” Shultz said.

For months, the scourge of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to governments and relevant institutions across the globe to enforce preventative measures against its spread. Lesotho on 13 May 2020 recorded its first confirmed case of the virus after lockdown measures were eased the previous week.

Afriski said it is visiting the Eagle Hub members, teaching them in small numbers to produce products in the safety of their homes.

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