High unemployment and poverty means that many families don’t have enough food. Good nutrition is essential in helping those who are HIV positive to stay healthy. There are two types of projects within the Sustainable Livelihoods Programme: farming projects (vegetables, eggs and milk) and income generating craft projects: hand-embroidery, cards, knitting/crochet and sock animals. All these projects help to ensure that families have access to good, fresh food in sufficient quantities. 90% of those who participate in our Sustainable Livelihoods programme are women.
Great strides in craft development training have been made, supported by Rotary Global Grant. Guided by Angela Shaw, Director of Retail & Craft Development at KZNSA Gallery, there are stunning new designs incorporating geometric designs and mandala. Crafters were given guidelines on colour, shape and product engineering, but the focus was to build individual's creative confidence so they can work independently and learn to trust their own design instincts. In March 2017, as part of the training, makers and the admin team visited the KZNSA gallery and shop in Durban, plus other craft retailers, to get a sense of how their products comes to market.
A big thank you to Dr Marion Spence and John Hinks who have made this project possible.
Woza Moya is very proud of our Thulisile Mtolo who received the "SGH Staff person of the Year" award for 2016. At the Sinamandla AGM Thulisile presented highlights of our Self-Help Groups (SGHs),proposing that our SGHs are now mature enough to form a Cluster Level Association.
The Woza Moya Crafters enjoyed extra activities this month. Oxfam sponsored Crafters from across KwaZulu-Natal to come together and share their stories and products. EMBO and HACT in Durban hosted this wonderful event and day outing for 20 crafters from our valley. Fancy Stitch launched some exquisite new motifs. Also in March Angela Shaw, Director of KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts (KZNSA), began working with our Crafters, introducing them to product design and development, focusing on colours, shapes and finishing touches.
We are developing a new cushion cover design created by Oxfam Australia which showcases the exquisite embroidery in the middle of the cushion.
Julia Sumners, General Manager of OXFAM Trading in Australia came to meet the Woza Moya Crafters and to see first-hand how the famous sock monkeys are made.
We were invited to display our work and sell our crafts at the OXFAM Pop-In-Shop on Durban beachfront, running for the duration of the COP17 conference.
Our winter garden reached maturity, producing an abundance of large brocollis, cauliflowers and cabbages, intermixed with a wide variety of other veggies, herbs and plants, as in the permaculture way. Alan, a horticulturist from Durban with a special focus of Food Security and Permaculture, sourced some top quality seedlings for our winter crop, which made all the difference. He also brought in more fruit and nut trees which have been strategically planted in our gardens, extending the permaculture design.
The gardens have continued to provide a nutritious daily meal for the children at our Play School and everyone in our Community Centre. In August we had such a surplus of beautiful and delicious veggies that it was wonderful to be able to give back a little and share with some of our friends and supporters of Woza Moya.
The nearby Creighton farming community holds this festival annually, with steam train rides being offered alongside teh Mzimkulu River through these spectacular valleys. This year we were thrilled to reach record sales of our craft products, bringing in some much needed income for the crafters of Ofafa. Our gorgeous sock monkeys were the best sellers, followed closely by the stunning and impeccably sewn large bags.
The knitted beanies become popular with teenagers as the grannies step out using much brighter and cooler colours. They take on a new style as one of the grannies in the knitting group starts crocheting little flowers which are now being stitched on to some of the beanies. The flowers add a lovely touch to the beanies and are soon to be added to the scarves.
Ten women from households with no income are selected for training of hand embroidery. Leonie Malherbe (Crafts Coordinator) conducts a 2 day training workshop on embroidery for this new group.
The Woza Moya CCW team receive two days of hands on training from the 3 CCW Permaculture trainers.
Woza Moya has a table, selling crafts and promoting the project, at this popular local annual event.
Three Woza Moya CCWs travel to Durban Botanic Gardens for three days of permaculture training in order to become trainers themselves.
On 31 May2010 Benedicta Memela, Woza Moya’s Food Security Manager featured on SABC 3. This documentary celebrates people making a difference in their communities ravaged by HIV/Aids and Poverty. The programme starts with a traditional healer in Khayelitsha in the Cape and then moves to rural KwaZulu-Natal, Ofafa. The focus is on Woza Moya’s Food Security programme and also what has personally inspired Benedicta to be such a great role model in terms of responding to the needs of her own community in the way that she has.
Eight farmers passed on the gift of 18 egg laying chickens to eight new farmers at the "Passing on the Gift" ceremony held at Woza Moya Community Centre. This is an annual event which joyfully highlights the success of the partnership between Woza Moya and Heifer International South Africa which began in 2002.
Effective community development activates scaled social reflexivity, sufficient to create a tipping-point towards locally perpetuated ownership of improved outcomes. Woza Moya’s ultimate success, therefore, would be indicated by a transformed Ofafa Valley, driven by local volition, resilience and agency; where every member is healthy, well nourished, feels safe, and experiences an annual progression towards an improved future.