Meet Josefine Kapinga Lutumba, a woman of Kwesu

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May 27, 2020

Josefine Lutumba works with Kwesu, a not-for-profit organisation that teaches women sewing skills, language and other life skills. Josefine has been working at Kwesu, helping to make fabric masks for essential workers in Bellville working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 support initiatives. Please support Kwesu, which helps Josefine and other women there to earn an income for themselves. Give them a hand up, and a round of applause. 

I had nowhere to go, no hope. I joined my son in South Africa, but he left for greener pastures in the USA, and promised to send me money regularly. This did not happen the way he said. I had to make a living on my own. I went to UNHCR, an organisation of refugees in Wynberg. After the interview, they referred me to Kwesu as I told them I was a seamstress.

When I got to Kwesu, I found a family. They did not turn me down because of my age. Everywhere I was going the answer to my job hunting was ‘you are too old and cannot speak English’. I was desperate.

Kwesu helped me a lot. I started sewing uniforms and Patricia put me in charge of quality control. I felt I had my dignity back. As I was working when the centre is full of students, I help the teachers. I found the happiness that I lost for a long time. I was happy, I was valued and useful to the community. My smile was back. When my son phoned me, he could feel my joy and I could tell him how I could pay my rent and buy my groceries. I am grateful for this organisation. I attended different workshops and classes and this helped me improve my English. 

I had to stop working due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I received my food parcel, but I was wondering how long that would last. There is rent to pay and I must survive. I just prayed for God’s help. One day I received a call from my colleague informing me that we will be making masks at home as we could not go to the centre. I was so happy because my finances were incredibly low. Patricia brings the material and collects the masks and gives me the money for my work. Thank you to her and to all the people behind this opportunity, I cannot thank you enough for the relief it has brought to my life: THANK YOU!

I wish great things for Kwesu, let it grow beyond and help other people. I am sure there are many others who are looking for a place where they will find their dignity.

Read more about Kwesu and donate.

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