Woza Moya is a self-help project initiated by the Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust, as part of a holistic care program. Clients, who are either affected/infected by HIV, are referred to either the feeding scheme or the income generation project by the nurses. Depending upon the client’s state of health and family demands.
The centre found it was possible to improve quality of life of our clients though access to nurses, medication and home based care but this is not sustainable without a regular income, hence the birth of the income generation project. The feeding scheme is a short term measure until some form of income generation training has taken place.
The project aims to uplift people affected/infected by HIV/AIDS. It helps men and women regain hope and dignity by getting them to use their creativity to earn an income. At present Woza Moya acts as an agent for over 170 crafters.
As the AIDS epidemic increases more families are turning to them for help and are assisted by offering training in beadwork, wirework, ceramics, fabric painting, crochet and sewing. The centre then markets the goods for them. They endeavor to give their crafters the best possible price for their goods so that they have a regular, sustainable income.
They are a dynamic and creative organization whose primary focus is beadwork; they have two sewing groups, a ceramic group, a wonderful fabric painting group who make anything from ethnic inspired table cloths and cushion covers to conference bags, a crochet group which takes on large orders, as well as a wirework group which produces assorted custom made wirework.
As the AIDS epidemic increases it is of the utmost importance that more local businesses create job opportunities for local crafts people. By doing so they are creating employment for a group of people that are seen as unemployable because of their HIV status.
The Hillcrest AIDS centre has proven that, with the right care and access to medication, lives can be turned around. They have found that economic empowerment is the single most important factor in fighting this epidemic because it gives the crafters (who are all infected or affected by HIV/AIDS) the luxury of looking to the future and in doing so taking ownership of their disease and having something to live for. The health benefits of this alone can NEVER be underestimated.