Doreen Mckay

Doreen Mckay – An entrepreneur’s story

Doreen is the leader of the SANTA group of OBC crafters situated in Marianridge. The Orphan Bracelet Campaign crafters mostly work in co-ops of women and most of them are HIV-positive. These co-ops ensure that the women can support individuals within the group who at times, are too sick to work.

Doreen McKay is one such an HIV-positive women and she suffers from recurring bouts of tuberculosis. Since her husband’s death of AIDS in 2005, she has had to support her children without any form of fixed income.

Despite her condition, which includes failing eyesight, she has a tremendous resolve to continue to provide for her children. Until she joined the OBC’s crafting programme she did so by making finely stitched patchwork blankets.

Doreen’s sense of humor is unfaltering and completely remarkable once one witnesses the harsh conditions under which the family must survive.

Under Doreen’s leadership, her SANTA group of crafters has delivered high quality bracelets to the OBC since their very first order and thanks to your continued bracelet orders, this group has been able to save and pool some of their money.

Doreen (left) with a fellow SANTA crafter in business management training

This enabled them to launch a second enterprise – making meat pies to sell to local villagers. At first, everything was prepared in the women’s own very basic kitchens.

With the OBCs assistance however, the women identified a company that provides full kitchen facilities within a container setup.  We also helped with the licensing and permit processes.

Thanks to your support, the women under Doreen’s wing are becoming ever more self-sufficient and are able to improve not only the lives of their immediate families, but also make a wider contribution within their community.