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About Tracey in South Africa


From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jul 14 2001 - 12:20:47 PDT

All ArtsEdNetters:

I would like to do something here to help Tracey in South Africa (does
anyone have the name of her book?-- I know I saved it but can not find
the title now). Anyway...this is how things are going for Tracey now
(I edited some of the info to shorten your reading):

".......Things have been VERY hectic here the
last couple of weeks. Yes, your memory served you well. I work with
adults, teaching mainly crafts. I keep up with the ideas going around
on Artsednet as I sometimes manage to pick up things that I can use in
my classes."

"I do not know whether you are aware that we have an incredible
unemployment problem here in South Africa. It sits at about 45%. As
you can imagine, the poverty levels amongst black people who have no
marketable skills are very bad.
Add to this the fact that we do not have social security, you can see
that the problem is enormous."

"The crafts I teach is with the specific reason to try and motivate
people to start cottage industries. The book I wrote was specifically
geared towards this as well. I am thrilled with how it has been going.
It has been accepted by all nine provincial Education departments as
reference material for entrepreneurship
training as well as OBE. It is also being used in prisons as
rehabilitation therapy for inmates and there are plans afoot for each
prisoner to receive a copy on release as part of a survival kit."

"My latest project is equally exciting. I have obtained research
access to the main museum that houses the best historical beadwork in
the country. I am going there on the 1st and 2nd of August with a film
crew who will be making a documentary. My brief is to research the old
beadwork, colour combinations and
techniques and then design a modern range based on my research. I will
then teach this to groups of women who will do the actual beadwork.
The range will then be marketed internationally, possibly called the
Zulu Heritage range or something like that. We have not quite decided
on a name yet. This will have the possibility of providing an income
for hundreds of women who would not have access to income otherwise.

Note to Melissa Enderle: Post to the list anything that we could do to
help those in Mali, too. I know I was too swamped last school year to
do much but admire what you were doing. You worked hard enough for
both of us.