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To mark Women’s Day, PPS and Personal Finance this week presented the PPS/Personal Finance Professional Woman of the Year award to an occupational therapist who is running a project to train unemployed women in early childhood development.
Leanne Keet received R50 000 to further the aims of the Masikhule Childcare Project, which she manages in the Somerset West/Strand area in the Western Cape.
Keet started the project in 2005, and has so far trained 1 010 women and helped 400 to find employment.
Runner-up Leoni Naude received R10 000 for the Kutlwanong Home Craft Development Trust programme in Roodepoort, which trains unemployed adults in sewing, catering and entrepreneurial skills.
PPS and Personal Finance initiated the Professional Woman of the Year award after a survey of PPS members showed their most pressing concern was the high rate of unemployment in South Africa, particularly among the youth.
Dr Sybil Seoka, deputy chairman of PPS, was one of the four women judges who chose the award winners. Nominees had to show how the R50 000 would be applied to make a meaningful difference to the success of their initiatives.
Keet, who also helps women to set up their own educare centres, plans to use her award to offer the women practical workshops on basic business management and administration skills.
PPS will provide free financial planning services to the Masikhule project.