Once again, it was a pleasure visiting with the ladies, and this time around it was Thelma Malobola and I who spent the afternoon with them. As is At Vogue’s guiding principle in our fellowship with the ladies, we provide a hot meal, cakes for afternoon tea, teach them a new skill – which this time was beading bracelets and necklaces – and leave them with a useful gift (in this case Tshirts, and lanyards).
On arrival at the church hall, we immediately laid the tables and served lunch, which was Mince Biryani donated by a catering company from Bosmont, H H S Enterprises. After lunch, Thelma demonstrated a simple beading method with the colourful beads provided by At Vogue. Since this was her first experience, Thelma was encouraged by the friendliness, enthusiasm, and willingness of the women to learn the art of beading bracelets and necklaces. The women’s expression of pride and accomplishment on completion of a simple bracelet or necklace was priceless! At the end of the session, we gave each lady a bag of beads (which was welcomed with great enthusiasm), to encourage them to pursue beading as a possible means of making a living.
After the beading exercise, the ladies sang a ‘special’ song to Thelma and I, thanking us for visiting with them. We then all enjoyed a cup of tea with a cake donated by the At Vogue staff.
The following is an excerpt from a letter to At Vogue MD, Lynette, from Janice, the facilitator for the group of ladies:
“It was a delightful afternoon. We all ate double helpings of the delicious mince biryani (I wish I could cook it! :). The beading was so special. Even my short-sighted grannies were able to put beads together – and were so proud of their creations. The cakes were magnificent and everyone ate to their full (except thankfully Margaret who has had some toes amputated because of diabetes, but she took hers home for her family. ) Please thank Cheryl – ooh the melted chocolate cakes were delectable in the extreme. And Bronwyn, bless her, for the generous and absolutely lovely banana bread, and you, of course, for your glorious moist and lovely cake. Our women sang for Ann and Thelma – a song called Malibongwe – which, I recently discovered, means thank you! While it is a song of thanks to our God of everything, it certainly served its purpose in thanking Ann and Thelma (and of course you and your team). The tee-shirts and lanyards for all the women were also an extra touch that was much appreciated.”
“I continue to be so touched by your willingness to be involved in these women’s lives. Most of them are really battling and this was – and always is – a highlight of note.”
By Ann Alexander.