Materials in carpentry and beadwork to help men find employment.
It is amazing to watch Christiaan work. Slowly and carefully weaving the wire, paper and beads into jewellery. Completely absorbed, it is a joy to watch him create and as he says, his twice weekly beadworking classes have become the most calming and therapeutic times in his week.
This picture of serenity is a far cry from two years ago, when he sat at the corner of the street, watching people come and go from Moria House, where our partners, Changemakers, work. Addicted to drugs, he was too broken to bring himself to knock at the door.
Christiaan’s descent began when he lost his father to cancer and his mother, unable to cope, began drinking. Christiaan soon dropped out of school and joined a dominant street gang, witnessing many crimes, violence and murders. For 10 years he was trapped in a cycle of prison, street life and drugs – completely broken and lost.
However, he had a chance meeting with another man, an ex-prisoner, who was now free from drugs and rebuilding his life. Christiaan couldn’t believe the change he saw in him and so began sitting across the street from Moria House, observing, disbelieving but wanting to know more. Eventually he got up, walked over, and knocked at the door.
Now 18 months later, Christiaan is saved, healed and discovering what it means to be a child of God. He has reconnected with his family and seven year old son and discovered the wonderful craft of beadmaking. On finishing the programme, Christiaan gained employment in a farm museum and has recently been promoted to supervisor. He continues with his bead making and is hoping to turn his hobby into a small income generating business.
Christiaan is one of 30 men who each year are helped to receive healing from their addiction and gain employable skills so they can work.