The other focus the organization is to provide the research, resources, teaching the art of beadwork to pupils and adults, to improve the lives of rural and township communities. Additionally, the organization produces educational products and assists the public and private sectors in their understanding of how research findings pertaining to HIV/AIDS, education and health can be transformed into awareness, special events, craftwork and marketable communication products targeting South Africa’s communities.
Phumelela Higher Primary in Kwa-Mashu township, Durban, has been the first beneficiary in the learners’ beadwork project, whereby the learners were taught beadwork designs which have sold well in the United States.
Both boys and girls created beaded Christmas decorations, generating an income which has enabled the school to build their own kitchen. The kitchen is scheduled to be operational at the end of June 2004. Through the Links project in the U.S., school children in the U.S. are corresponding with the learners at Phumelela. The idea is to encourage the two schools to share ideas and projects. In Richmond, Virginia, American learners will be selling beaded items made by the Kwa-Mashu learners. Thembalethu would like to increase the number of schools around the country.
Thembalethu produces state of the art craftwork, web based programs and spearhead projects, which creatively and effectively use Thembalethu as a contextual backdrop for communicating with and to youth and families about health and education related issues via educational entertainment and beadwork.
Thembalethu works to increase the competence of health care professionals, educators, parents and community workers and others who target the youth in order to improve their services and message delivery.