The first week of training was a success. We had fewer crafters than expected due to a variety of unexpected interferences, but we will hopefully meet our goal of 10-15 skilled crafters by the end of next week. Come that time, I’ll have more updates to share about business developments and such, but until then I’ll take this opportunity to spotlight my new friend Dora.
Dora is 48 years old. She has three children: Lucky, Lorato, and Junkie. Lucky is her only child by birth, and she had him when she was 27, making him 21 currently. His father left shortly after he was born, so Dora raised her son as a single mother. Lucky is severely mentally and physically handicapped, and requires constant care. He spends most days at a daycare center for the disabled. Dora volunteered at that daycare center for eleven years before moving into a Mosaic home. Before Mosaic, she was living in a one-room tin shack, and was perpetually unemployed.
Her middle child, Lorato, was adopted from her sister who passed away when Lorato was only 2 years and 3 months old. Lorato is now 15, and when she speaks of Lorato, she calls her “her hope for the future.” Lorato wants to be a social worker when she grows up because social workers have made a big difference in her life, and she wants to help others.
Dora’s youngest child, Junkie, was given to her by social workers when he was around 3 years old. They found him sitting in the township, and no one would claim him. His exact age, along with his birth parents, are unknown. Junkie, like Lucky, has severe mental and physical handicaps, and also spends his days at a daycare center for the disabled.
Dora’s only source of income are grants that the government gives to foster parents of adopted children and caretakers of the disabled. These grants are very difficult to apply for, and it can be years before the paperwork is completed and a child is officially “adopted.” In fact, there are millions of children in the country who are informally adopted, because their paperwork is either in progress or their caretakers don’t have the means to register them. Without this registration, these people cannot obtain official government documents that are necessary for employment, matriculation in university, driver’s licenses, passports, etc.
For parents that receive the payments, it is usually only enough to keep the children in school (this requires paying for transportation, uniforms, and school fees). The leftover money can hopefully clothe and feed the family, but not without very careful budgeting and a bit of luck. Dora admits that she never has any money left after these purchases are made at the end of the month.
Dora was anxious to learn and become a skilled crafter. During training she comes early and leaves late, and always come in the next day excited to show me what she’s accomplished during the short time that we’ve been apart. She’s always willing to help her friends learn and her work shows a close attention to detail that I’m constantly impressed by. Her ability to quickly master a new pattern far surpasses my own and I hope that before long, she’ll be teaching me!
When I told her that I was very impressed with her work, she responded earnestly, “I don’t want to let you down.”
Dora, I don’t want to let you down, and it is my prayer every day that we can find permanent employment not just for you but for all who earnestly seek it.