The William Humphreys Art Gallery, conscious of its social responsibility, initiated craft workshops for unemployed women from the disadvantaged areas in and around Kimberley. The workshops began in August 2001 in a flat adjacent to the gallery and have developed into a successful project, contributing towards job creation and poverty alleviation.
The WHAG Ubuntu Project, named by the women themselves, aims to teach skills to the women which they can use to produce quality, saleable items for the domestic and tourism market. They have mastered crocheting, embroidery, basic hand-machine sewing, basic garment making, fabric painting and beading skills. They are producing carry bags from recycled plastic bags, embroidered bags and basic garments such as waistcoats, which are decorated with fabric painting, embroidery and beading.
The group is small as a result of the limited infrastructure at the Gallery, but it is envisaged that in future, a larger group of women could be trained. Basic business and entrepreneurial skills would need to be introduced in order for them to learn to manage their own affairs. The money they earn from the sale of these items, which is their only source of income, has done much, not only to contribute to their domestic budget, but also to improve their self-esteem and dignity.