My name is Laura, I’m 35 years old and as they say – “born and bred” here in the friendly city of Port Elizabeth!
I have a passion for God, people, I love reading, travelling, being creative, running (did my first 21k in 2017!) and for those that know me well – I LOVE a good cuppa coffee – yum!!!
From a young age I’ve always enjoyed all sorts of arts & crafts and ‘back in the day’ (before Pinterest and YouTube [Symbol] ) I would go to the library during holiday time and participate in their holiday craft sessions and also regularly take out books on all sorts of craft topics. I especially enjoyed card-making and even bought a book on calligraphy to teach myself!
After school I joined a youth ministry for two years where I had the opportunity to work with children and young people and also had the amazing privilege to go to Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2 and a half months helping out with the ECBiH (Evangelical Church of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s) summer camps. It’s amazing how even when you can’t speak the language, showing love and doing something fun together (like making bracelets or colouring in a picture) can break down those barriers. Needless to say, a part of my heart remained there and since that time I always had a strong desire to go back again.
In the following years I did return a couple of times on short term visits but finally at the end of 2010 my dream came true to go back long-term volunteering with a UK based charitable organization, Novi Most International serving in the city of Mostar. In my time there I volunteered and later on became coordinator of the youth centre “Klub Novi Most” on the east side of Mostar. I also served with the local evangelical church assisting with their weekly children’s groups and during summer time helped plan and co-lead summer camps.
Part of my responsibilities as youth centre coordinator was organizing and leading various workshops, activities and fun events where young people from the local neighbourhoods could drop by, learn new skills and be encouraged to develop their potential. We would have ‘Kreativna radionice’ (Creative workshops) which included things like tie-dye, decoupage, tinfoil art, hama-bead creations, beadwork, card-making, fabric painting, crochet, basic woodwork, music and cooking! We also had lots of games, face-painting, themed parties and outings (especially during the busy summer program months). With all these activities, I quickly learned how to be creative with often limited resources at hand!
In the beginning of 2017 I felt my season in BiH was coming to an end and a new chapter awaited me in South Africa. I returned last December and joined the “Crafty Arts team” in January 2018. I am very excited about this new chapter and so thankful for the opportunity to be back in my home town and the possibility to meet you the next time you stop by at Crafty Arts in 6th Avenue Walmer.