Empowering Mothers on the Path to Independence
Established in 2021, The Cleaning Fix is an initiative of non-profit social enterprise Fix Forward. It flows from Fix Forward’s mission:
“To help build an equal and just society by creating opportunities for people from low-income communities to develop and thrive”
The aim of The Cleaning Fix specifically is to connect unemployed mothers to domestic cleaning opportunities via our online platform. Here, customers can easily book a vetted cleaner and pay online. We also give the mothers we work with access to an eco-system of support, including trauma counseling.
How are we different?
We pay the cleaners 100% of the customer booking fee.
We don’t take a cut from their daily wage. With us, customers can also opt in to an additional transport contribution of up to R50.
Our cleaners, therefore, receive up to R400 for a full-day booking or R300 for a half-day. These rates are almost four times the legal minimum wage for domestic workers.
We also encourage both clients and the women to take up a direct working relationship on a permanent basis, something that other platforms forbid.
How we started
In 2020, during the hard lockdown of COVID-19 Fix Forward launched a campaign called Mothers in Need, in response to a story about a 7-month pregnant woman who was turned away from a food parcel collection point. She hadn’t eaten in 4 days.
In just a few short weeks the Mothers in Need campaign raised R750 000 to provide over 300 refugee mothers with a R400 grocery voucher, each month for 6 months. Hand-outs like this are fine as a temporary relief measure, but are not sustainable in the long term. As the campaign came to an end we looked for ways to offer a more empowering, longer-term solution. And so The Cleaning Fix idea was born.
Initially our model was that part of the customer booking fee went towards a carer who looked after the children, freeing up the mother to work. It proved difficult to manage and in 2022 we decided to take the step to building something truly remarkable: we dropped all fees, so 100% of the customer booking fee would go to the woman doing the work.