The Positive Beadwork Project

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The Positive Beadwork Project (PBP) was designed to provide indigent mothers (and other care-givers) of HIV-positive children an opportunity to generate an income and to achieve food security in their homes.

Qualitative research carried out by our occupational therapists in previous years has also revealed a positive effect on self-esteem and a sense of self-worth of the PBP upon participants in the project.

We remain successful in achieving our primary goal and secondary benefits are continually observed.

The project has also started to produce further benefits in the form of motivation for self-improvement and skills development among certain participants.

The PBP remains a ‘jewel in the Kidzpositive crown’ and has become a focus of our publicity and fund-raising campaigns.

Our work force:

There are around 90 mothers that regularly attend the beadwork project at Groote Schuur Hospital (the sites were consolidated to ensure quality of work is the same, all mothers transport monies are fully refunded by Kidzpositive), all of whom are keen to improve their skills. They are able to sustain a regular weekly income and we observe an increasing sense of self-respect and a growing camaraderie among our committed bead workers.
This project has increased the earning potential of beneficiaries from R350 per month (State Child Care Grant ) to over R1,470 per month (which includes the state child care grant). This is an increase in earnings of over 300% per beneficiary thanks to the PBP.

Work flow:

After a busy start to 2014, often a quiet time in previous years, beadwork orders continued to flow in steadily. This activity not only keeps the mothers busy and able to enjoy their time together when they meet to receive patterns and raw materials from the project, but more importantly, it has often provided them with more than their usual weekly earnings for a substantial part of the current year. A steady flow of orders also does much to support morale. It is not only the additional income, but also the knowledge that further income will be generated in weeks to come, that gives rise to greater self-confidence and provides opportunities to plan ahead.

These early orders came from both international and national agencies. The PBP has received several large orders from the Gates Foundation, as well as the regular annual support from Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Paris and from Goucher College in Maryland USA. This College orders several hundred key-rings for their graduating students every year.

New initiatives:

We have recently been engaged in creating a new website, which we feel sure will attract new orders, once clients can see the variety of items we have for sale. Kidzpositive has recently employed a dynamic young lady to the position of Marketing and Media manager. She has created a new facebook page which will hopefully gain further exposure to what we do and supply information about the new products we are producing, using social media, thus increasing the potential for new orders.

enough confidence in their skills and ability to apply and then go to the interview. They both reported that they would not have been able to have had the courage to apply, had they not had the self-confidence they had gained by working in the PBP. Both realize they have now gained a marketable skill which they previously did not have. They are both keen to apply for the same course next year.

New hope:

Last week one of the doctors who works at the project came to tell me that a young lady who attended the bead work project, from Zimbabwe, who was a single parent and who had her shack burnt to the ground, losing all her possessions , came to her appointment smiling. When asked why she looked so happy, after all that

she had been through, she said that the beadwork orders had been so good this year, that she was able to ‘put food on the table every week’ and have enough left over to buy her daughter some much needed new clothes! This captures the essence of the project.

“By caring about the patient’s holistic being, a lot can be done to stop poverty from becoming a major cause of death among HIV-positive people” Dr Paul Roux


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