Woza Moya (Come Spirit of Change in Zulu) is the economic empowerment project of Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust. Woza Moya’s mission is to unearth creativity that creates economic empowerment through traditional, quality local crafts made by people in need. Started in 2002 with five beaders making AIDS ribbons at a local church, the project now supports more than 350 crafters, most of whom have 5-10 dependents. Crafters are referred to Woza Moya. Once enrolled, they are trained in a craft, most commonly beadwork or sewing. The crafters, mostly women, are almost all first time earners, having set up bank accounts for the first time in order to receive their payments from Woza Moya. This starts the process leading to a bread winner able to support a family.
Every week the crafters come to sell their crafts to Woza Moya, everything from beadwork, wirework, woodwork and even crochet. The crafters become self-empowered and self-employed. Being financially secure gives our crafters hope and the luxury of looking to the future; because of this they take ownership of their disease and fight to stay healthy.
Woza Moya has taken a traditional African craft – beading – modernized it and made it relevant and appealing to customers both local and international. One of the biggest successes of Woza Moya has been its innovative product creations – from the famous Little Traveller beaded dolls, to the World’s First Fully Beaded Suit, to the Dreams for Africa Chair that sold at a record breaking R750,000 to a private buyer. It has popularized African beadwork again and made it appeal not just to African markets but to all South African and international customers.
Funds from the Dreams for Africa Chair enabled the centre to start to build a better craft shop on their premises to allow better display of their beautiful work. With further support it opened recently. The quality of the craft work is very good. A small nursery sells indigenous plants and a couple of the crafters work from studios on site. This is a ‘must stop to browse here’ place. There is a lot to choose from. … and please take home A Little Traveller for someone. https://youtu.be/GPWsiJgmdQw
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