Sewing project is a ray of hope

2018-05-10 06:01
Leoni Taljaard (left) assists Mpela Motseki with one of her pieces during a gathering of the Halli Trust Needlework Club. Photos: Tasmin Cupido

Leoni Taljaard (left) assists Mpela Motseki with one of her pieces during a gathering of the Halli Trust Needlework Club. Photos: Tasmin Cupido

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A group of women have been handed a thread of hope thanks to an initiative driven by a local NPO.

The women, residents of Nomzamo, Lwandle, Zola and Smartie Town, are learning the intricacies of needlework as they attempt to make a living from their creative pieces. Learning the fine art of decorative sewing and creating textile arts handicrafts forms part of a project established by Halli Trust nearly five years ago.

But, says Halli Trust CEO Heidi Naude, the organisation’s Needlework Club really took off when its meeting place moved to the trust’s office in Somerset West earlier this year.

“I have always dreamt of having a fully operational needlework arm as part of Halli Trust,” she explained.

“The idea is that the club’s members will be able to earn a living through their work.

“But it is also an opportunity for us to educate and mentor the women while creating a sisterhood and fellowship with their weekly meetings.”

The gatherings are held on Fridays from 10:00 to 13:00, with Leoni Taljaard volunteering her time to teach the members all they need to know about sewing, stitching, binding and more.

The club is an extension of the various services offered by Halli Trust, which was founded by Naude’s husband Martin in 2010. Its core function is to fill the gap in vulnerable communities through educational involvement, community involvement and the rehabilitation and caring of animals.

Thanks to generous donations of material, thread, needles, pins and sewing machines, the women of the Needlework Club are already well on their way to fine tuning their skills. “The funds generated through the sale of the items will go to the women, so that they can sustain their operations and homes,” Naude explains.

“In the past, we have had stalls at local markets, but the goal is for the women’s creations to be sold at a store here at the Halli Trust office.”

To add to the opportunities for the avid needleworkers, Halli Trust has registered the Helderberg Community Experience on Airbnb, which will give visitors to the Helderberg an afternoon experience starting at the organisation’s office.

“They will each receive one of the women’s creations and then be taken to the Halli clubs in Smartie Town and Zola to interact with the children. The visitors will also be able to purchase some of the other crafts created by the women.”

And the women are eager to be taught the new skills as they are able to use it to generate an extra buck. Patricia Gingcana says she looks forward to the weekly meetings of the Needlework Club.

“It’s so much fun to learn this skill and be part of the club,” she says, while proudly showing off her latest creation. “We also enjoy getting together as a group.”

For more information on Halli Trust and its projects, visit


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