Ita Rivka Fuks with her grandchildren. Courtesy of The Lost Shtetl Museum.
During the period between the two World Wars, approximately 7,000 Litvaks left Šeduva for South Africa, including long-time resident Ita Rivka Fuks. She made the journey to this remote and little-known country at the age of 70.
Ita Rivka was born to a humble family, married young, and had nine children, of whom seven were girls. After her husband died, they lived in poverty. Occasionally she asked the community for support. She never learned to read or write, nor was she able to provide her children the education they dreamed of.
Encouraged by their mother, Ita Rivka's children began searching for a better life elsewhere. Some of them went to Palestine, and others made the journey to South Africa. Ita Rivka remained in Šeduva with her youngest daughter Pesya, who also desired to leave the town behind but refused to abandon her mother to fend for herself. In the end, Pesya convinced her sisters in South Africa to bring their mother to join them.
Ita Rivka spent over twenty years in South Africa, surrounded by her children and grandchildren.