Income Generation Projects

We partner with three fair trade income generation projects in South Africa to provide employment opportunities to women and to raise funds for our children’s programs. Income generation is an important element of our strategy for providing care and support for young people in AIDS-affected regions, as providing women with jobs allows them to provide care for their children and others within their communities and instills a sense of pride, hope, and possibility.

The programs we work with include:

  •  Zulu Beadwork Project
  •  Hillcrest AIDS Center Trust
  • Fancy Stitch Group.

Through these projects, we provide employment for dozens of women in three communities. Here are a few of the crafter’s stories that demonstrate how these opportunities impact their lifes:

Busi has been beading for 8 years. She supports her child and an extended family of 11. From the money earned through beadwork she is currently building a house for the whole family. Her previous house was destroyed in heavy rains. She is immensely proud to bring income to her family through beadwork.

Nomatemba worked as a domestic worker for very low pay before she met Phumzile in 2000. Prior to learning to bead Nomatemba says life was very hard as a single mother of 3 and breadwinner for 5 members of her extended family. Forced to leave school at young age, her parents couldn’t afford the fees, she loves the independence that beadwork brings her and that she can send her children to school.

Nikiwe also learnt to bead at a young age and used what she earned to buy school uniforms and pay fees completing high school. It is a trend she has continued and is now studying to be a nurse with income earned from beadwork. She says she is proud of doing beadwork, as when she fell pregnant at a very young age she knew she would be able to support her child. Nikiwe is married and is a mother of four.
Member of Zulu Beadwork Project