Kimberley - When Andrea Davids retired from teaching last year she relocated from Cape Town to Kimberely in search of a quieter lifestyle.
Instead she was so affected by the poverty of the people she came into contact with that she immediately started looking at ways to help them.
Ma-Lu, a second-hand store selling clothing and home essentials to financially deprived people in the community was the solution she came up with.
Friends, former colleagues and family members from all over South Africa generously donated the things they no longer had need for to help make Davids' vision a reality.
"I financed the start up capital. Some months I have to help pay the bills. I work 6 days a week and don't earn a salary. But, the shop is gaining popularity," says Davids.
The initiative aims "to instill a sense of dignity and a greater sense of personal respect to underprivileged and under-served communities. our project adresses a basic and essential human need by providing decent, quality second hand clothing to the less privileged.
"Ma-Lu believes in developing dignity and respect and that it is only through acknowledging and listening to the real needs of a community that real change can happen."
Ma-Lu's monthy "Mahala Day" is a knock-out success and Davids is usually run off her helping people find what they need at prices they can easily afford.
One of Ma-Lu's donors came up with a novel idea of putting an unneeded item into a black bag every day for the 40 days of Lent. This great idea doesn't have to stop at the end of Lent, and can help people declutter their lives for a worthy cause.
Davids is planning another trip to Cape Town in March to pick up donations with which to replenish the store's stock and would welcome any assistance Northern Cape residents can give the project.