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CHASING AWAY POVERTY THROUGH ARTS

A group of people in a small village in Limpopo joined forces to chase poverty away. The Chivirikani Multi-Arts Project employs 17 women, four men and two disabled people.

Based in the village of Lulekani, the Chivirikani Project was started under the leadership of Mr Robert Mabasa. He saw that some people had skills and others had none at all. So those with skills were asked to teach those with no skills.

In October 1998, they started making items like grass handbags, conference bags, lamps, beadwork, and traditional clothes to sell to tourists and shops. They worked under the trees that they used as their factory.

EPWP

In July 2007, government officials, including the Minister of Agriculture, visited the project. They saw the need for a proper place to work and contracted local builders to build them a small factory. This was done through government's Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

The building is also used as a school for people who attend government's Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) classes in the afternoons. The land surrounding the building is used to plant vegetables.

Culture

Since tourists visit them on their way to the Kruger National Park, the group started a cultural section where they entertain visitors. They plan to open a restaurant that will offer tourists European meals, as well as African meals, including dishes with mopani worms.

- Muzi Mkhwanazi