Beauty finds her calling at Woza Moya

BEAUTY Elefu is one of Woza Moya’s most experienced beaders and uses the income she generates from the sales of her work to support her six children.

The 46-year-old hard-working mom lives in KwaNyuswa. Beauty was first introduced to HACT in 2007 by her neighbour. She had just buried her husband who was the love of her life and also the sole source of income for her young family. Grieving the loss of her partner, Beauty was in desperate need of help at the time. “My neighbour was very worried about us and told me I needed to come here to the centre to get help. It took me a while because I was afraid, but I came and was put onto the feeding scheme. I was so happy for that, it saved my life!”

In addition to receiving weekly food parcels, Beauty and her children received counselling from HACT’s staff. “That helped us a lot,” said Beauty. “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, Beauty progressed to HACT’s clothing scheme where she said it felt good to start earning her own money. “I sold my first bag of clothes for R90. I spent it all on food for the children.” It was during one of her weekly visits to the centre to collect her bag of second-hand clothes that Beauty first spoke to one of the women who worked at Woza Moya. Beauty had grown in confidence through the clothing scheme and was excited to take on a new challenge and to earn more money to support her growing children. “I asked for help to learn how to bead. I was told to come back the following week and I was so excited to start learning,” exclaimed Beauty.

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

Today, Beauty gets through an impressive amount of beading every week. “I bead at home all day, every day,” said Beauty with a grin. “I make everything from uShaka 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 they look so funny with their fat little bodies and no legs – they make me laugh.”

Beauty 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 makes time to stop and chat with all of them. “Woza Moya is like a second home,” explained Beauty. “When you come here, you feel happy. If you have a problem, you share it and the women will try help you – you are never alone at Woza Moya.”

Lloyd Mackenzie

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