Today it is a hive of activity – drawing disabled persons from all over Greater Knysna who come together, develop skills and in the process, make a living. According to manager Edwin Pedro, the centre is a source of energy and inspiration for each and every person who attends the workshop and acquires new skills.
“Everybody with a disability is welcome here. People from all walks of life,” says Pedro, as he recalls the time when this all started. “Five ladies in the community saw a need for a protective workplace for disabled people, who are otherwise marginalised. It began with 40 disabled persons, and at the time there weren’t many social workers. Only small items were made, such as small bird feeders, toilet roll holders, tissue boxes, and candles,” he recalls.
Pedro says that men focused on carpentry and women on sewing. Today the operation has evolved. From one small building, they now operate from three workshops. “Nowadays we make items on demand, everything from tables to wooden domino sets, curtains and cushion covers. Although we’re not as busy as we used to be, we still provide a high-quality product. Many of the people here are professionally qualified, and they are part of the production team ” he says.
Pedro also speaks of the challenges facing the centre, saying that their bus needs repairs. But until then many disabled persons in the northern areas of Knysna cannot find transport to come to Die Werkswinkel.
They are also always in need of wood and power tools.
Would you like to help?
Die Werkswinkel can be visited at the corner of Wing and Fontein streets in Hornlee, or contact them on 044 385 0126, or Edwin Pedro on 078 631 5500.