Dear friends and supporters,
In Pretoria it’s spring! The trees are sprouting new leaves and there is blossom scenting the air. This gives us all hope that the tide is turning. Many people have been vaccinated and we hope our country is getting Covid under control. As we look to the future and plan new projects, there are many people to thank for helping Mapula Embroideries get this far, particularly during the devastating pandemic.
Mapula Embroideries has been creating a sustainable livelihood for women in the Winterveld and Hammanskraal since 1991. During these 30 years of endeavour, lives have been built around the project, skills have been developed and families have been supported. Many of you have been donors. We particularly appreciate the donations received during Covid, enabling the production of cloths for our key exhibitions which are described in this Newsletter, and value the thoughtful contributions made by friends of the project.
Oracle NetSuite has donated an inventory management and accounting system which has been customized for Mapula by their dedicated team of local software developers. This sophisticated product will take the management of sales, stock control and financial management to the next level. We are most grateful to all those concerned.
Embroidery is a very visual art-form, and needs good photography to show it off. We thank Paula Nel for her beautiful portraits of 30 of the original Winterveld women and for photographing many completed cloths. Paul Mills generously gave of his time and professional skill to provide the highest quality photographs of the embroidery panels for the 2020 Through the Eye of a Needle project which enabled us to enjoy the online exhibition in lockdown. We appreciate their expertise in ensuring our visual record is of a very high standard.
Once the embroidered cloths are completed, they often need to be posted, sometimes internationally. This is an expensive and specialised operation and here we have received much appreciated support from House of Embroidery owned by Henneli Davie.
House of Embroidery is a South African-born dye house established in 1995 which produces multi-coloured hand-dyed embroidery thread and ribbon. As a fair-trade company, House of Embroidery prides itself on the sustained empowerment of previously unskilled South Africans. Most of the team are women, many of whom have had no prior employment.
Since taking over the company in 2017 Henneli has focussed on launching the brand to a wider global audience and has also used her platform to promote and support various community-based upliftment programs. In 2020 she discovered the Mapula Project on a social media post and through her supplier network in the United States she has assisted the Mapula Project with various contacts for sale of their works as well as sponsorships and exhibition opportunities in the USA.
Henneli introduced Mapula to Richard Kennair of Global Artisans in USA which has led to his sponsorship of the Mapula exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. We thank him for this opportunity. He also stocks selected Mapula products.
Visit by the Multiparty Women’s Caucus of the City of Tshwane
In recognition of Heritage Month, members of the Tshwane Multiparty Women’s Caucus visited Mapula Embroideries at the Sisters of Mercy Community Learning Centre in the Winterveld. The event was an outreach to assist the women in their efforts to overcome socio-economic challenges. It was also a great opportunity for the women of Mapula Embroideries to showcase their stories told through needle and thread.
There was a festive atmosphere as women gathered in colourful traditional dress and displayed their embroidered cloths. Covid protocols were observed as temperatures were taken and people took their seats under a shady, airy gazebo.