A joint venture, The Iterileng Project, was started with the financial support of the American Embassy, who financed the erection of a building and the supply of spinning wheels. In addition the first purchase of silkworm cocoons were sponsored. These women spin the silk from the cocoons into yarn. The yarn is then sold to us for hand weaving - thereby keeping our workforce, at the weavery, to a reasonable number while giving them an income and funds to buy more cocoons.
This has resulted in a chain reaction. The Bushbuckridge spinners trained women in even more remote villages in the art of hand spinning. Every time another little village gets involved, another link is added to this chain of upliftment where mothers can earn a living without having to move away from her family to big cities. Currently there are about 50 women involved, but as the chain gets longer, more and more families will benefit.
Africa Silks also support a job creation project in the North West Province of South Africa where previously unemployed women collect empty Mopani worm cocoons from nature, which we process into a variety of rough textured hand-woven products.