We have lost count of the many children Mosamaria has had as members of its support groups since 2003. It should have been a very interesting figure. One could count this number as a success story, but if these children are really impoverished and disadvantaged and all our efforts have no impact on their adult lives, the one could argue that we have failed.
What really counts to us is the children who have been with us and been able to break out of the unending cycle of poverty. They do this by staying in school until they matriculate and accessing some form of tertiary education so that they can be employed. We also hope that they will not have teenage pregnancies and be infected with HIV because they allow themselves to be used for transactional sex. They also need to be very resilient to face the hardships in life and to believe in themselves. This is often very difficult for orphans and vulnerable children.
We have one young lady, Zama, of whom we are immensely proud. She was one of our first support group members in 2003 and her parents had died and left her and her brother to care for the little sister who had been infected with HIV from her mother when she was born. She was often very sick and until she could be given ART (Anti Retro-viral Treatment) and Zama had to play mother to the household and struggle for them all to survive.
Zama was one of the best beaders in our project which was called “Jewels of Hope”. She was very skilled and worked fast and made beautiful pieces of jewellery. Zama matriculated and then through Mme Phutsisi she obtained a bursary to study education at CUT (Central University of Technology). She graduated with a B.Tech degree in teaching commercial subjects. Throughout these years she was supported in every way by our OVC project manager Mme Kelebogile Ditema. She often said that she would not have achieved anything if it were not for Mme Kelebogile’s help and guidance.
Zama found a teaching post in Kwa Zulu Natal in a rural area and has been educating the children there for a number of years now. She is passionate about assisting children to reach their full potential and develop life-skills to enable them to make discerned choices in their lives.
Now she has started making jewellery with three unemployed ladies from her rural community so that they can create an income for themselves. They sell these beautiful traditional items throughout South Africa. She regularly comes to visit us in school holidays as she has her own car, and is now married and has a child.
We are so proud of you Zamatjie. You are an example to all disadvantaged kids of what is possible to achieve. May God bless you always.