Ralph chats with Paula Thomson, who recently spoke at OU for a Presidential Dream Course titled Women in Media Leadership.
Paula Thomson has worked with the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust in South Africa for over 16 years managing the center’s Economic Empowerment project Woza Moya. This project aims to uplift and upskill patients and community members who are impacted by HIV/AIDS to earn an income. Woza Moya works with over 1,500 crafters assisting each crafter with design, product development and access to market.
Woza Moya has won numerous awards: The most beautiful object in South Africa – The dreams for Africa Chair, The Impumemelelo Social innovation award and the 2017 Exporter of the year in the creative category.
Woza Moya is a center of creative development and has taken on inclusive commissions of large scale beaded projects, our claim to fame is the largest beaded love letter that was commissioned by the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban in 2010. The biggest beaded billboard commissioned by Toyota in 2018 and the Dreams for Africa chair that travelled the world collecting dreams.
Paula Thomson was born in Durban South Africa, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and a H.D.E. Teaching diploma. She taught Art to high school students for 10 years before leaving to take up the post Woza Moya Craft manager. She recently won the Woman in Business Social Entrepreneur Award.