Omo boxes, romany cream boxes, Liqui fruit boxes and many more are being carefully hand crafted into stylish practical wallets at Mamelani Projects, a Cape Town based health NGO, as part of an income generating project.
Its a community-based health programme that empowers women to access clinic services, gain knowledge regarding a range of illnesses affecting them and their families, and take action to improve their health and the health of their loved ones.
A special focus is placed on pregnant mothers, advising and supporting them in making the correct feeding choice to prevent HIV transmission and malnutrition. As part of this programme, women attend a series of workshops, receive counselling, attend healthy cooking demonstrations and are also referred for specialised services, such as legal support and domestic violence counselling.
Turning creativity into profit
Most of the women attending Mamelani’s workshops are unemployed and the need to include income generating activities in the programme was identified. The first initiative comes in the form of a recycling project where three ladies are turning boxes and containers into wallets that look beautiful, work well and last long.
‘The wallets are meant to make you laugh seeing something such as the “Kellogs K” on the front and Romany creams inside, but most importantly, they are meant to make us think about our waste in a new way. We want the wallets to promote the idea of what one considers to be waste can be turned into something useful. Also, the fact that the wallets have been made from recycled materials will hopefully remind us to reflect on our consumption patterns and encourage less wasteful lifestyles,’ says Carly Tanur, Founder and Director of Mamelani Projects.
‘There has been an exciting response from individuals and organisations, inspired by both the creative and recycling aspect of the project. The project started in December last year in time for Christmas gifts but now the women involved intend to take it further,’ says Carly.