Of course it was a great disappointment to me to discover the invite to bring me to South Africa fell short on funding. Yes, a grant was secured by my potential host but, in the end, it proved not enough to cover all the expenses anticipated. The Smooch! Project runs really lean (as in, this project doesn’t generate enough income to support itself). Add to the mix that my personal financial resources are so severely depleted at the moment (as in, I am too broke for words!) that I have accepted a temporary fulltime job to meet living expenses.
As much as I would have loved to bring the Smooch! to South Africa, it would have been no fun to get there and not have the financial resources to deal with the unexpected. I just did not feel comfortable taking the risk of getting in a tight situation so far from home. Talk about a potential “ET phone home!” scenario. While I am still holding out hope for a possible last minute “angel” to make an appearance to help cover the shortfall, at the moment it seems most likely that The Smooch! will be staying state-side.
Despite this (hopefully temporary) setback, I continue to dearly love and support The Siyazama Project, the remarkable effort to “promote the role of design and affirm indigenous knowledge and skills as a means to disseminate vital information about HIV/AIDs among the most marginalized and vulnerable people in South Africa — rural women.”
What a beautiful project! What beautiful work these women create. Massive and heartfelt congratulations to Prof. Kate Wells of the Durban University of Technology for her unstinting efforts to support, promote and publicize this very worthy project. Learn more about her good work on her Arts in South Africa blog.
Are you in a position to help get the Smooch! to South Africa? If so, your tax-deductible donation would be oh-so-welcome! Here’s a link to our donation page. Smooches to you!
Smooch! surrounds the world with a big hug.