While the launch of Serenity Hills, Margate’s vibrant eco-estate, may be the start of something amazing for new residents, it’s actually part of a larger story of community upliftment that dates back to 2015 – with the establishment of the Sweetdale Skills Centre.
Swiss entrepreneur Roland Wenger, his wife Sibylle and their two children, Sam and Connie, are committed to improving the lives of those around them in meaningful and lasting ways.
This commitment led them to establish the Skills Center, which provides disadvantaged young people, women and people with disabilities on the south coast of KZN with employable skills.
Students receive expert instruction from experienced trainers in a variety of skills including painting, carpentry, boilermaking, landscaping, catering, cooking and hospitality.
The Skills Center also develops and accompanies emerging entrepreneurs in the communities in order to promote autonomy and the creation of sustainable jobs.
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“Learning by doing is the heart and success of the Skills Centre. It was established as a means of encouraging communities to participate in South Africa’s economy, with the aim of improving their living conditions,” explained Sam Wenger, Development Director of Serenity Hills.
The skills center consists of various workshops, dormitories, classrooms and exceptional common areas – a place to feel safe and share the act of kindness.
The elevation of the community does not stop there. The award-winning restaurant, The Packshed, is another Wenger family initiative integrated into the Serenity Hills eco-estate.
As well as providing world-class fusion cuisine, The Packshed is part of the Skills Centre, providing hands-on experience for chefs and servers in training.
Beyond that, the Wenger family has established the impactful Sweetbike Community Project, which provides underprivileged school children with refurbished bicycles so they can get to and from school more easily.
With limited transport and long distances to access schools in rural areas, many children are forced to walk for hours to access education, leading to higher dropout rates and increased safety risks. children. Sweetbike sources quality second-hand bikes from Europe, with the team of mechanics at the Sweetbike workshop – which is also part of the competence center – then refurbishes the bikes to give them to the students.