Evelyn - gardener

Evelyn

Evelyn has been working at Vhutshilo since 2005. She started volunteering as a member of the adult HIV+ support group, in which she talked about being HIV+  to other HIV+ members in her community. Evelyn is very open and optimistic about her HIV status, and although she was ostracised in the beginning, she has now become a prominent and hardworking member of her community.

Evelyn is in charge of the seedling nursery, and works with Joyce in the school vegetable garden. She went to the Madzivhandila Agricultural College for a nursery course and earlier this year attended the workshop on permaculture (organic) gardening, and they are slowly converting all the garden beds to this new method. She is very fond of her job and when asked about her favourite moment or day since she started working at the school, she answered proudly and with a big smile: ‘Every day is my favourite  day here!’

Evelyn is the single Mom of 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Her youngest child was known as the “Box” baby, as he spent his early days in a huge cardboard box in the school kitchen while Evelyn was working. The boy (called Vhutshilo !) is currently 6 years old. Sue Anne helped her to get him a scholarship at a good private school and he came first in his grade of 261 children !! She has slowly built onto her one room shack and is now the proud owner of a 3 room house.

Although Evelyn had a very hard life, she is happy, passionate about her job and proud to be a member of the Vhutshilo family.

 

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