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Traditional South African embroidery in vibrant red and black make this card suitable for all occasions. Blank inside and comes with envelope.
Made from: Cotton embroidery thread, 10x 5.5cm mini-mat material, white card, paper from mulberry bark, poly-prop bags
African Hand Embroidered Card$8.95
Ingwavuma is situated high in the Lebombo mountains in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Focused around a small cluster of shops and amenities, the settlement lies scattered over a 60km radius and supports around 120 000 inhabitants. People survive through migrant labour, subsistence farming and government grants, often shared amongst entire households. Rainfall is erratic, poverty is deeply rooted, and social problems like alcoholism and teenage pregnancy are widespread. Desperately, HIV infection rates amongst young women keep rising. The costs of HIV, the numerous funerals, and of caring for children orphaned by AIDS drain scarce household resources, deepening poverty further.
But there is also hope here. Witnessing the suffering and inspired by the vibrancy, the Fancy Stitch group is a self-help, income generation and skills development initiative that benefits the lives of about more than 400 community members, mostly women, who have been trained in single thread hand embroidery. They work at home, are paid per piece for the work they produce, and the embroidered cloth is turned into saleable products by a 20-member production team. Work submission, free training, social and emotional support take place at satellite centres. Here, women’s health and nutrition is also promoted, through the provision of fresh vegetables at reasonable prices and fortified foods to help in the fight against AIDS. The money the women gain is often the only family income, and is used to build houses, feed families, clothe children, and send them to school. The women of Fancy Stitch make beautiful greeting cards, photo frames, key rings, Christmas decorations, and framed tapestries.
My name is Thandeka Mathenjwa and I am 35 years old. My father died when I was 12 years old and my mother had to work very hard to let us continue with our education. My Youngest sister Celiwe and I are the only children that complete our education to the highest level at school. My mother died in 2001 and now I am an orphan. Beautiful Ingwavuma is a hard place to survive with no income. When times were hard I ploughed (hoed) the fields, carried water or chopped firewood for my neighbours. I volunteer as an adult education teacher at the one local High School. Being able to earn an income from my art is a high point in my life. Pure joy to see my own work being admired and it makes me feel special.
Story and photo from Fancy Stitch website: http://www.fancy.org.za/women-of-fancy-stitch/thandeka-mathenjwa/
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