HSA Foundation is the charitable arm of HSA, and is committed to working with people to make positive changes in their lives through person centred thinking and planning. All of the trustees are part of the HSA team, and the work we do at HSA directly influences the projects HSAF supports around the world, bringing person centred tools to people who would otherwise perhaps not have access to them.
The Keiskamma Art Project
HSA Foundation were first introduced to the Umzila group in 2006 through the Keiskamma Art Project, based in Bodiam, South Africa, little village on the dirt road to Hamburg. It consists of homesteads across the hillside, a single shop, a primary school and a public telephone. The entire area is poor and there is little chance of formal employment as there isn't much in the way of industry. In the past, this area and other 'homelands' served as dumping grounds for forced removals - hence the lack of infrastructure. Compounding these social/economic issues is the fact that the area has been ravaged by HIV aids, leaving many families destitute.
The Keiskamma project is housed in two single room buildings and the Umzila group work in one of them. The menbers of the Umzila group are craftswomen, skilled in doll making and embroidery. They arrive at 10am and stay until 4pm and sit and work.
The HSA Foundation have been working together with Umzila to produce commissions, and explore marketplaces for selling their work. So far they have been working on cushion covers, runners, placemats and wall hangings, and the next stage will be to develop products for specific markets in the UK.
The dream for Umzila is to develop a business model which brings in a consistent income, allowing these women to sustain themselves and their families.
This picture shows members of the Umzilo group hard at work in the Keiskamma art hut, producing handmade embroidery.