Newsletter — September 2022

Spring has arrived, and with it the promise of new things. I hope you are enjoying the slow greening of all our plants and trees, and that your embroidery captures some of that joy! 

New life seems to be abounding in our Guild as well. We ARE going ahead with the Market, and Danny posted a notice to that effect on the WhatsApp page, the salient information of which I have reprinted here: 

Morning all, I promised news about the Market, and we will be posting an item about it in the newsletter. The details are as follows: 29th October 2022 at Linden Methodist Church corner 5th Avenue and Milner Avenue, Linden. Set up from 8am, Market from 9am until 3pm or until you have had enough. 😀There is no charge for a table, and Linden Methodist will provide tables and chairs. We ask that you give the Guild 10% of your takings – an honour system. Someone will be available to help you offload and carry your things. We will have a card machine available. You can sell anything you like. We will send more details later. Even if you decide not to have a table, please come and support us. 

So now you have a chance to find those pre-loved things you no longer use but someone else would love to adopt and love too, you can sell some of your creative work, and above all, come on the day and have fun with all the wonderful things the committee is planning. 

The next new thing is that it is looking VERY likely that we will, in the near future, be able to go back to the Recreation Centre. We anticipate the rest of this year will be taken up with catching up on all those post-renovation things that need to be sorted, but hopefully by early next year we should be back “home”. Come the day!

We will be meeting again at St Martin’s this month at 10h30 on the 6th and the 20th September (Tuesday mornings) and on the 10th at 09h30 (Saturday). We will not be extending our time there. Too few of you came, and the church really put themselves out with providing tea/coffee etc for us. So on those days, if any of you would like to bring some wool supplies for their knitting group, or would like to make a donation to the church, please do. They gave it all to us for nothing, so it would be a nice “thank you” to them. If I am not there, take them to the office and leave them with either Kuda or Nataski who will see to it that it reaches the right people. 

In the meantime, the committee are looking at a venue nearer the recreation centre. More details will be posted on the WhatsApp group, or in the next newsletter. We will meet until the end of the year, so keep your eyes peeled.. 

One final thing, I would like to remind you again of the exhibition of the Keiskamma Trust which will be held on the 24th September at the Constitutional Court. For those of you who know very little about it and what it does, I have taken a section from their website (see below). It is not only a worthwhile project, but is a significant contribution to the creation and development of a valuable art and culture identity in this country. Please support this! It is well worth it. 

Keiskamma Trust

Keiskamma Trust (KT) is a not for profit making trust established by Dr Carol Hofmeyr in 2000 in Hamburg in the Peddie South District of the Eastern Cape, and registered with the department of social development in 2005, in response to local impoverished communities’ basic needs such as health, education and employment. Over the past decade, the Trust has assisted thousands of vulnerable people in 53 rural villages to enrich and encourage healthy individuals, families and communities.

The Trust provides support via the following four programmes:

Art Project began as a means of restoring the self-esteem of people in this poor area, and providing a diversion from their bleak circumstances. This soon grew into the Keiskamma Art Project, a talented group of developing artists who communicate through their artworks. More than 200 people in Hamburg and surrounding villages have been trained by the Art Project and it creates much-needed opportunities for income for over 130 male and female crafters and artists. Their work showcases local culture, heritage and environment through award-winning textile works, ceramics, bead and wire-works.

As the HIV pandemic spread through the Eastern Cape and began impacting upon artists’ lives, a Health Programme was established. Today, it provides HIV prevention, testing, counselling and treatment, in addition to an extensive community-based health care network, which consists of 80 Community Health Workers who conduct home based care, community awareness events with a special emphasis on HIV/AIDS, TB prevention, PMTCT, TB screening, sexuality and HCT, community dialogues, psychosocial support, nutrition & food gardens and patient transport in 53 remote villages. The Health Programme is also involved in advocacy campaigns and/or other actions in collaboration with different stakeholders to ensure access to health facilities and social services.

The Music Academy was founded in 2006 and has introduced over 120 children to music tuition. Fifty-six committed students attend several classes weekly, following a full programme of instrumental tuition, music theory, aural and ensemble workshops. The young musicians undergo examinations and perform concerts to standing ovations nationally. KMA gives children an opportunity on developing not only a creative skill but an attitude of responsibility and dedication that they’ll carry throughout their lives.

The Education Programme provides the full spectrum of care, education intervention programmes, nutritional support, developmental activities, and access to ICT training and facilities to approximately 700 children from 12 months old to youth in their early 20’s. The programme activities include early childhood development, after school-care classes, nutrition, creative development, nutritional support & food gardens initiatives as well as the youth development resource centre called Vulindlela Centre, which focuses on youth connectivity and development activities. The Vulindlela Centre offers educational resources, supplementary education, career guidance, driving lessons through driving simulators, teacher development, ICT training & internet access, assistance with bursary and tertiary applications and Isango (Gateway) youth bridging programme which trains and prepares out of school and unemployed youth for apprenticeship and college/university access.

The Trust is governed by a strong Board of Trustees, with Trustees who are experts from several different fields such as business, economic development and HIV/AIDS work, as well as community representatives. An experienced Management team runs the day-to-day operations of the Trust, consisting of the heads of each programme, as well as an Executive Director.

Collectively the Trust budget is over 10 million rand per annum, and our beneficiaries number in the thousands. Our reach extends to 53 rural villages in this area where endemic poverty and disease continue to have devastating effects.

Our strength is that we remain focused on fostering the resilience and creativity of the communities we live in, in an effort to ensure a hope-filled future for every member.

Newsletter — April 2022

Not a long letter this time. Just urging you to keep warm as the weather cools, and the WHO warns us not to drop our guard over Covid, even though governments are opening up society. Let’s be sensible and keep on with our beautiful craft.

Meetings at Roosevelt Park are not going to happen soon. It seems there was extensive damage and wear and tear on the roof and with the rainy weather, it has taken longer to fix. At this point we are looking at the middle of the year (this year, I think, though it feels like any other year in the future.) We are continuing to meet at Paputzis every second Tuesday – and I here let me remind you that we meet again THIS TUESDAY, the 5th April. If it is still chilly, dress warmly. We can meet indoors – they have set aside a room for us if we need it. If we do meet there, and open windows do not give too much air circulation, it might be advisable to keep masks on all the time when we aren’t eating and drinking, but we are hoping that we won’t have to do this yet.. 

We are also starting a meeting for the Saturday ladies. This coming Saturday, the 9th April, we are meeting at Paputzis at 12h30 until 14h30 where we can meet up again, sew a bit, and enjoy a light lunch. Please come if you can, and bring cash to pay. They like issuing only one bill, so you will have to reimburse whoever is the paying person. We really look forward to meeting up with our working members and catching up after a very long time.

The Committee has had a meeting, and it was agreed that at some stage, we will need to update our records. In the next Newsletter we will probably have a form for you to fill in and return to us where we will ask you to check details as regards address – actual and email -, phone numbers, next-of-kin, and other things. Please be assured that we are bound by the Popi regulations, and we will never disclose any of your private details ever to anyone, and the number of committee members who will have access to the list will remain limited.

There isn’t much else to report – a short letter this month. 

Keep well, keep warm and keep embroidering!