Whatâ€™s new is sadly that the museum is struggling financially.Â The subsidy from the KZN Museum Service, for which we are very grateful, has had to be drastically reduced, leaving us very much on our own resources.Â So weâ€���re tackling this problem from a number of angles.
To kick off, we looked for volunteers to put on an entertainment and 22 hardy souls pitched in.Â We put on â€œThe Great British Music Hallâ€ for two nights, which roped in over R14000.Â It may not sound like much but itâ€™s a wonderful addition to our â€˜bottomless potâ€������� of needs.Â We are so grateful to the wonderful community of Eshowe, who either performed or supported the show.
The next strategy is to market ourselves properly online.Â�� This means joining all the social networking pages in addition to our webpage, and making use of Pinterest, YouTube and crowdfunding sites to market the work of our wonderful crafters and to raise interest in supporting our projects.Â Making ourselves more widely known may also encourage tourists to take the 28km drive off the N2 to visit us.Â We really are worth it!
The first project we have started raising funds for is to take Doris Mwelase back to the Borneo International Beads Conference in 2013.Â You may remember we went in 2011 and it was a fantastic experience to see Doris bloom.Â Her work was received with acclaim and she sold over R10000 for herself, and we were able to sell over R7000 for the museum.Â�� Now we have all been invited back â€����� Doris to sell her work and run another workshop, Zama to translate and assist her, and Vivienne to attend the conference.Â If anybody would like to help to send Doris, you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.Â Doris is planning some small gifts for donors to say thank you.
The next project we really need to tackle is to develop our indigenous garden so that the ladies of Vukazakhe Co-operative can re-establish themselves.Â This group of enterprising ladies from Mphapala set up a min-factory making some really good toiletry products from indigenous plants.Â Unfortunately, a local â€˜gentlemanâ€™ chose to burn down their workshop with all their stock, packaging material and small machinery.Â The ladies felt too threatened to return to their original garden site and approached the museum to find out whether they could use our grounds.Â This suited us very well as we had long planned on having two indigenous gardens, one of medicinal plants and one of economic plants such as dyeing, weaving and, like Vukazakhe, beauty products.Â So you will be hearing more from us about our campaign in that direction.
And then thereâ€�������s schools programmes, skills education, teacher trainingâ€¦â���¦. A museumâ�����™s work is never finished and neither is the potential to make changes in our community.Â We would love you to become our partner in this exciting work.