Beauty's Story - home is where the heart is

01 Nov 2016

Beauty Elefu is 46 years-old and lives in KwaNyuswa. She has six children ranging in age from 22 to 12 years-old whom she currently supports through the sale of her beadwork. Beauty was first introduced to HACT in 2007 by her neighbour. Beauty had just buried her husband who was not only the love of her life, but the sole source of income for her young family. Grieving the loss of her partner, Beauty was also 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” says Beauty. “My first born, he 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 joining HACT’s clothing scheme where she says 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 on one of her weekly visits to the centre to collect her bag of second hand clothes that Beauty first spoke to Dudu, one of the women who worked in Woza Moya. Having grown in confidence through the clothing scheme, Beauty was keen to take on a new challenge and to try earn more to support her growing children. “I asked Dudu to help me learn how to bead. She told me to come back the following week. I was so excited to come back and start learning!”

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” says Beauty. “It also was good to leave the clothing scheme because me - I now had a skill, so I was glad to leave so someone else in need could get help.”

Today, Beauty is one of Woza Moya’s most experienced beaders and gets through an impressive amount of beading every week. “I bead at home all day, every day” says 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 comes into the HACT centre 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 she makes time to stop and chat with all of them. “Woza Moya is like a home” explains Beauty. “When you come here, you feel happy. If you have a problem, you share it and Paula and the women will try help you – you are never alone at Woza Moya.”

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