Artisans from South Africa
African Hope Crafts
Even though 25 percent of South Africa’s population suffers from AIDS, the people of Cape Town will not let the disease destroy their hopes and dreams. In fact, a Christian job creation program, African Hope Crafts (AHC), specifically reaches out to men and women who are HIV positive and unable to find work. While they create products they learn proper health practices and receive encouragement from each other. The spokesperson for AHC writes “Just giving HIV-positive suffers a reason to get out of bed each day is a real joy. Our time together is about much more than the money they earn.”
Living in fear of their ancestors, the Zulu people of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, continually slaughter cows, goats, and chickens as sacrifices. They even attribute any illness, death, or calamity as a mood of an ancestor’s spirit that requires a sacrifice to appease. But, the people involved in the artisan group Wezandla, meaning “hands” in Zulu, have the opportunity to break free from this slavery. Each item they bead secures a paycheck for their poor families and the hope of freedom from fear.