Small Business Incubator
When you purchase a handmade item, you support a maker…
Three Tree Hill Foundation
All the staff employed at the lodge come from the local village, Hambrook, which is 8km down the road. Through our Community & Conservation Levy (together with generous guest donations) we are able to fund small (& large) community & conservation projects in the area.
Since many of our guests visit the World Heritage Site (Maloti Drakensberg Park), we also support the community in that area through the Legacy of Grace SA project, started by a guest that stayed at Three Tree Hill.
Spioenkop Game Reserve, managed by Ezimvelo Wildlife, neighbours the lodge property. Guests are privileged to join guided walks in this special 6000ha reserve where rhino, giraffe & zebra roam wild. The fund helps to support various conservation projects in & adjacent to this reserve.
Hambrook Village represents a small, but vibrant portion of the approximately 10 million Zulu people in South Africa, speaking the native tongue of isiZulu. The majority of the working population in the village are employed on local farms & businesses in the Bergville/Ladysmith district, but the unemployment rate is high. Traditionally men would go out and work, with women remaining at home to look after children and maintain the household, but, living expenses have increased, and there are limited job opportunities in the area, so the women in the village have decided to do something for themselves & we are assisting them with their dreams.
Please see below items that are available for sale in our shop at the lodge or to be mailed to your home. Contact - email@example.com.
My name is Fortunate Maduna. I am a mother of five children. I am unemployed with a teachers degree, which I obtained through UNISA (University of South Africa) Now, I am making copper wire mats to have an income. I was lucky enough when Three Tree Hill brought some ladies from Durban to train us with this new craft. We were only three ladies when we started training two years ago. Now we are a total of fifteen, as I have managed to train others to assist me.
I would like to see this project fully grown as it helps all of us put food on the table. It takes at least 5 full working days to make one mat.
We are a group of women from the Hambrook village, who gather together because of the inspiration of one old lady that has a passion for sewing. She has now retired because of her poor eyesight.
This is one of the things that you would do as a hobby, spending time together as women, learning and sharing ideas. We make a lot of things such as table cloths, curtains and traditional attire for both men and women.
Let us mention the “Madiba style”. It is a specially designed outfit with traditional prints that everyone would want to have. With passion and dedication, it is possible to make a pair (man & woman shirts) in four days.
My name is Ntobeko Ntshingila. It was in 2014 when I had the inspiration to make doileys, then I had the opportunity to sell them in the shop.
I decided that I would make these doileys to save enough money to buy a fridge for my mother. I would do this in my spare time, pushing myself till I made my mother’s dream come true. The average size doileys of 25cm, take about 4 hours to make. The smaller ones take about half that time. I started doing the doileys by sitting with my mother, because she was also keen to learn how to make them. Now she has joined me with the beading.
At the moment, this is an income for my mother, since she stays at home. This income will also help for my sister’s college tuition fees. The name Amanjandu is my family clan name.
My name is Mama Bhengu. I live in Hambrook village with my family (2 daughters & 3 grandchildren) I have been doing beading for almost 15 years now.
It was just this one day in June 2018, when I met a lady who looked my work and asked me to teach her beading. I did this with success and she was so happy. She returned to Pretoria, where she lives. Two months later, she returned with an offer to teach me how to make dolls. We got into an agreement and in no time I was able to make one. This was her way of thanking me for the lessons I gave her.
From that time I continued making Ndebele woman dolls, as she had taught me. I am fond of the Ndebeles, since they sincerely embrace their culture and their outfits are so colourful.
I have recently started making the Zulu women as well. I am all about beading as an art to preserve cultural tradition. It takes at least 3 – 4 weeks to make the large dolls.
I have a dream that I will grow to a point where I can teach more people beading to help with the unemployment in this area. At the moment this is my hobby as it is fun to do.