Beading sustains single-parent family

2016-11-15 06:00
Photo: supplied Beauty Elefu says Woza Moya is like home.

Photo: supplied Beauty Elefu says Woza Moya is like home.

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BEAUTY Elefu is 46 years old and lives in KwaNyuswa. She has six children ranging in age from 22 to 12, whom she supports through the sale of her beadwork.
Elefu was first introduced to Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust (Hact) in 2007 by her neighbour.

She had just buried her husband, who was not only the love of her life, but the sole source of income for her young family.
Grieving the loss of her partner, Elefu was also in desperate need of help.
“My neighbour was very worried about us and told me I needed to go to the centre to get help. It took me a while because I was afraid, but I went and was put onto the feeding scheme. I was so happy for that, it saved my life,” she said.

In addition to receiving weekly food parcels, Elefu and her children received counselling from Hact staff.
“That helped us a lot. My first born was nine years old when his father died and he was very angry. I still remember the way the counsellors spoke to him and explained everything to him so he understood. It got better after that.”

From the feeding scheme, Elefu joined Hact’s clothing scheme where she says it felt good to start earning money.
“I sold my first bag of clothes for R90. I spent it all on food for the children.”
It was on one of her weekly visits to the centre to collect her bag of second-hand clothes that Elefu first spoke to Dudu, one of the women who worked at Woza Moya. Having grown in confidence through the clothing scheme, Elefu was keen to take on a new challenge and try to earn more to support her growing children.
“I asked Dudu to teach me how to bead, and I was so excited to come back and start learning,” she said.

In less than three months, Elefu left the clothing scheme and got her first order for Woza Moya.
“I was so proud when I finished my first order. It also was good to leave the clothing scheme because I now had a skill, so I was glad to leave so someone else in need could get help.”

Today, Elefu is one of Woza Moya’s most experienced beaders and gets through an impressive amount of beading every week.
“I bead at home all day, every day. I make everything from key rings and Little Travellers to Christmas decorations.”

At the moment she is making little snowmen badges for Christmas.
“They are my favourite because they’re quick to make and look so funny with their fat little bodies and no legs - they make me laugh.”

Elefu visits Hact every Friday morning to hand in her work and collect her new orders for the following week. She is well known to the other beaders and the Woza Moya staff and always stops to chat with them.
“Woza Moya is like home. When you come here, you feel happy. If you have a problem, you share it and Paula and the women will try help you. You are never alone at Woza Moya.”

For more information on how to join Woza Moya’s skills development, contact 031 765 5866.

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