NORWEGIANS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN SA – ASTRID STABELL
Astrid Stabell together with Ambassador Sisulu - South Africa's Ambassador to Norway
In each of its newsletters, the Oslo Mission writes an article about a Norwegian who makes a difference in South Africa. This time around, we have chosen to write about Ms Astrid Stabell, who is currently dedicating her time to the Endlovini project in South Africa.
The Endlovini Community Development Project is a deserted mission station in the heart of KwaZuluNatal that over the past years has been transformed into “a project of hope”. What began as a children’s crèche, has developed into a project that gives help to the local community in many ways. Ms Stabell explains: “The project helps women and men gaining new skills so they can start making money. Women, for instance, go to workshops to learn how to sew and the men learn carpentry. The handicrafts made by the women provide a little bit of income for them.” Ms Stabell regularly brings beautiful dolls, bags, place mats and other handicrafts to Norway to sell. She even had a stand at the Embassy’s Freedom Day celebrations in 2011 where guests were given the opportunity to buy the handicrafts. The money from sales of the products goes straight back into the community.
Another part of the project that Ms Stabell speaks warmly about is the much-needed hospice in Endlovini.
The area is very rural and because of the poor standard in people’s homes, it can often be difficult to care for terminally ill patients. Thanks to gifts, donations and labour from the locals, a hospice called Enduduzweni (Place of Comfort) has been built to cater for terminally-ill patients, predominantly with AIDS. The hospice features two wards with room for five patients each. Ms Stabell stresses the importance of the hospice and cannot praise the voluntary care workers enough for their efforts of good work. They not only work in the hospice, but also visit homes to care for the sick and educate people about diseases and hygiene.
Ms Stabell says the Endlovini Community Development Project is reliant on more funding to keep the project going. She urges people to get in touch to see what fantastic handicrafts they have on offer. For more information, please check out the following website: www.endlovini.com
Journalist & Translator
Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Norway