&Beyond’s social development partner, Africa Foundation, had a highly productive and overwhelmingly successful year. Of the many community projects that have recently come to fruition, the Foundation’s proudest moment of 2015 has been the empowerment and upliftment of the Madilika Craft Market in the Justicia community bordering South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
Madilika, which means “falling walls” in the local Shangaan language, is an apt description of the many challenges these talented artisans have been forced to overcome. Their cooperative was established in 2004 and the 80 members focused on beading, sewing and candle-making. They were then supported by an organisation that provided training and access to market their crafts through a third-party.
Over time, the Madilika cooperation dwindled until eventually only 20 members remained. Wanting to develop themselves further and establish their own market share, the crafters approached Africa Foundation. They proposed the construction of a craft centre where they could not only produce, but also sell, their beautiful range of handicrafts. And so, back in 2012, Africa Foundation built the Madilika Craft Market.
This year, a three-way agreement was signed between the Madilika Craft Market Committee, McGlobal Gift Innovators and Africa Foundation, which has enabled a bright future for Madilika. The role of this tripartite alliance is to provide a resource − Africa Foundation Programme Officer Vusi Nkuna − to represent the interests of all parties, ensure cohesion and ongoing oversight of the daily activities at the centre, and to grow the business and ultimately change the lives of the members who dedicate their time and skills to creating beautiful crafts and jewellery.
The charming, authentic Madilika crafts are now sold in the Safari Shops in our Sabi Sand lodges, enabling the Madilika crafters to generate sufficient capital to enable them not only to connect the centre to the electricity grid, but also to provide for their children’s education needs.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to The Giving Organisation, its donors and McGlobal Gift Innovators whose generous funding made this business initiative a reality.