The Townships Project A Canadian non-profit jumpstarting business in South
African townships through microlending, microfranchising
and asset based community development.
Canadian Charitable Registration Number (86418 8420 RR0001).
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Stories - Elena Shabangu

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Spaza Shop OwnerElena tiredly invites us to sit down next to her spaza (tuck) shop at the edge of her garden. She’s a gogo (grandmother) who cares for fourteen people in her home – seven adults and seven grandchildren plus herself. Each of her sons live in a room in the house with their wives and children. The children all sleep on the floor. Her sons are builders who get piece work wherever they can find it, but she is the principal bread winner.

Elena’s dream is not for herself; it’s for her grandchildren. She wants them “to be educated so they don’t suffer” like she has.

Elena is about to receive her fourth loan from Phakamani Foundation, which is supported by The Townships Project, and her dreams are beginning to look more promising. A stream of children passing on their way home from school stop to spend a few cents at her shop. They thrust their hands through the wire-mesh fence that separates them from the contents of the store. The money adds up and she’s been able to buy a popcorn machine, develop a pub-lic phone business and buy a large new stove on which she makes simple small biscuit-like cakes to sell. Her spaza is well stocked with bread, eggs, cookies, snacks, chips and knick-knacks.

Elena will win in her battle against poverty; It’s happening already.

$1.00= approx. 7 Rand

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News & Events News

2017 January/February SA Franchise Magazine Article
March 28, 2017
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2016 Annual Giving Letter
March 28, 2017
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2015 Annual Giving Letter
January 5, 2016
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