As Lula Isandla has grown, so has the need for help grown. A team of ladies from Mpophomeni has stepped up and has been giving selfless and generous help to Fakazile with sewing, cooking and general counseling to the kids. They are an amazing group of caring women known as the the Vukuza Mama’s!
There is no direct translation for Vukuza, but it implies 'nurturing'.
Update: September 2009:
The primary income for the Vukuza Mama's has been a rudimentary income from their sewing group. However, it has become un-sustainable and their income has disappeared completely.
Currently Claire and Fakazile are investigating a way in which they can be remunerated as they provide an invaluable support system within the community. Not only were they sewing, but they provided counselling for the children and maintained contact with the community at large.
Not dismayed by their lack of income, their response was, 'before we came here we didn't know how to sew, now we do.'
Update: November 2009:
The Craft Club has begun! Mandy Johnston (Makgoti #1) journeyed to the Zenzeleni Community Center for the weekend of the 16th and 17th of October. She conducted a workshop with the Mama's. At this workshop they learned how to make paper to be used in making bookmarks, Zulu greeting cards and little boxes. They also learned lino carving - this will be used to stamp pictures onto the bookmarks and greeting cards. They are also making little black clay Zulu pots. This will be made for salt and pepper, tea light candles and those small succulent plants.
While Makgothi #1 facilitated the paper making and lino carving sessions; an ancient Gogo from Impendle showed how she makes the pots and and ‘burnt’ (fired) them in the traditional way - in the ground. The little boxes made from the paper will be for the little clay pots. Once they are comfortable with these projects, next in line are aprons; and scarves with pockets.
When the Craft Club is self sufficient and earning money, the Mama's will go back to care-giving within the community as well as continuing to make craft. We think the care giving is very important to the children and are really keen to keep this going as the women are able keep an eye on the children we feed. They can monitor each family situation as well as give other sorts of help.
Finally, they want to be identified as being part of Lula Isandla. Therefore, when they resume the caregiving they will have a ‘uniform’ so everyone can see they come from Lula Isandla.
|Fakazile Mchunu, Getty Ngubane, Nothisile Ntombela, Sthembile Mhlongo, Anna Zuma, Sbongile Zuma, Nonsikelelo Ngcobo, Zanele Mabaso, Bongiwe Ngubane. (absent: Gogo Ngubane)|