We are absolutely over the moon with our bright and bold new waitress uniforms, sewn by two incredible ladies from the Hlokomela Sewing Project. This makes them even more special. It’s so rewarding to be part of a project that empowers members of our community and helps raise funds for all the inspiring work that Hlokomela do.
Irene Dzvene and Joana Kabote are two sisters who started this sewing project for Hlokomela in 2016. Although Hlokomela, an award-winning HIV and AIDS educational and treatment programme, is largely dependent on donor funding, the organisation is constantly striving towards self-sustainability by means of income generating projects such as this sewing project.
Joana learnt to sew in 1980 at her primary school and then went on to a fashion and design college. Irene was so inspired by what she was doing that she asked her sister to share her skills and knowledge. Since then, they have formed a formidable team, working tirelessly side-by-side for years. They have also created a sewing school within Hlokomela where they teach young, enthusiastic students to sew using machines donated to the organisation from members of the community.
Inside a buttercup yellow room with two machines, they sew and create the most amazing things from dresses to toys, bags, uniforms and blankets – in fact, almost anything. Each and every request is met with a huge smile and a positive attitude. No job is too complicated or demanding.
When we met them with the patterns and fabric for all the new waitress uniforms, we underestimated what a wonderful journey this would turn out to be. What we know for sure is that there will be plenty more sewing projects for them from Tanda Tula and we cannot wait to work with these wonderful, warm and genuine ladies again.
What a great project started by Hlokomela! We hope to see it grow from strength-to-strength by being supported by all the individuals and lodges within the Greater Kruger Park community.