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One sew at a time: Homeless lady who escaped abusive marriage finds braveness making ‘fear dolls’

Odette Oliver (39) makes a dwelling creating African ‘fear dolls’. She is a survivor of home abuse, has battled drug dependancy and is slowly rebuilding her life after years of battle.

PHOTO: Sandisiwe Shoba/News24

  • Homeless lady Odette Oliver is rebuilding her life after years of drug dependancy and home abuse.
  • She’s discovered therapeutic making and promoting “fear dolls” by means of non-profit group Souper Troopers.
  • The handmade dolls helped her discover the braveness to go away her poisonous marriage.

For years Odette Oliver struggled with drug dependancy, the tortures of an abusive marriage, and a brief stint dwelling on the streets of Cape City, earlier than she discovered refuge making African “fear dolls” for Souper Troopers, a non-profit group helping the homeless .

“Making these dolls, it did one thing for my life that I might arise and inform my husband ‘no’, and I might make a change,” she advised News24.

The concept behind the tiny handmade dolls is to whisper your worries to them earlier than mattress and place them underneath your pillow. Legend has it the doll will take in your worries, serving to to alleviate anxiousness when you sleep.

Whereas Oliver does not imagine within the folklore behind the dolls, they have been a stepping stone that helped her take again management of her life. Roughly two months in the past, she discovered the braveness to go away her husband de ella after six tumultuous years of marriage.

The 39-year-old defined:

I used to be emotionally abused, I used to be bodily and financially abused.

The poisonous mixture of dependancy and home abuse drove her to try suicide in January final yr. She awakened at Somerset Hospital on “life assist.”

“This was my second suicide try, and this time, waking me up was a miracle,” she stated.

Shortly after, her husband’s playing dependancy plundered their funds, leaving them homeless for a number of months.

Whereas on the streets, she sought assist from Souper Troopers.

This led her to a charity undertaking referred to as the Bo Kaap Helpers backyard, the place she spent her days tilling the soil and rising recent greens. These actions have been therapeutic, she says, and helped her begin the method of coming to phrases along with her trauma.

“Working the bottom and being related with the earth and the sand, and simply seeing one thing develop, was serving to me,” she stated.

Oliver has battled with substance abuse intermittently for almost 20 years. Rising up in a family with alcoholism and witnessing her brother de ella get shot are a few of the circumstances she believes triggered her dependancy de ella.

‘It is my time now’

She began making fear dolls a couple of months in the past after attending a workshop hosted by Souper Troopers. Every distinctive doll is created from recycled supplies donated to the group. These embody cloth offcuts, artificial hair, jewellery, beads, and pantyhose.

It was whereas making fear dolls in a tent she shared on the streets along with her husband that Oliver determined to go away him.

Each worry doll is handmade from recycled material

Every fear doll is handmade from recycled supplies and offered by a non-profit group, Souper Troopers.

News24 Sandisiwe Shoba

Some of the African worry dolls sold by Souper Tro

A few of the African fear dolls offered by Souper Troopers.

News24 Sandisiwe Shoba

“I gave my all to my husband. I imply, I landed up on the streets, dwelling right here with gangsterism,” she stated.

“I had sufficient.”

Other than being one thing constructive she might focus her power on, the dolls have additionally helped her acquire monetary independence.

“I’ve a checking account,” she says with a smile.

“The cash helps me with my transport and groceries.”

Oliver is now off the streets and dwelling at a shelter for abused girls and youngsters. She seems to be ahead to the long run.

“I do know that I want to save cash, and I am taking every day because it comes and every alternative because it comes. I do not say no to something, I simply say sure. It is my time now.”

Fear dolls could be bought from Souper Trooper’s on-line retailer.


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