Craft with heart to go online

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - By GUGULETHU VUNDLA

Hood­ies, ban­gles, beaded neck­laces, ear­rings and shop­ping bags are among the items Gra­ham­stown will soon be able to buy from a new craft project.

Com­mu­nity ac­tivist Michael Robin Wynne, dubbed ‘Bat­man’, has started the project in part­ner­ship with Ma­sivuke Day Care Cen­tre for Adults with Dis­abil­i­ties. The cen­tre serves adults with men­tal and phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties.

Ma­sivuke project leader Boniwe Caro­line Ncalezi, along with a group of vol­un­teers, pro­vides a pro­duc­tive base for Gra­ham­stown’s dis­abled peo­ple. Three times a week they meet to learn new skills, and cre­ate the crafts Gra­ham­stown’s public wants to buy. The aim, Wynne ex­plained, was to teach them skills they can use to make an in­come and be in­de­pen­dent in some ways.

Hood­ies, ban­gles, beaded neck­laces, ear­rings and shop­ping bags are some of the prod­ucts they plan to make and sell.

“It can be quite slow, be­cause our crafters do tend to get bored on the piece they were work­ing on and start a new one.”

But that can have some in­ter­est­ing re­sults. “Another per­son would then pick up the work they left and fin­ish it off with­out know­ing what the end re­sult would be.”

Wynne says when some­thing goes right, you can see the crafters’ con­fi­dence grow­ing. An NGO has spon­sored sewing ma­chines to which the crafters should soon grad­u­ate.

“Fifty per­cent of the money made from sell­ing an item will go to Ma­sivuke and the other 50% will go in cash to the per­son who made it,” Wynne said. “The project is not just for money. It is there to give the par­tic­i­pants a sense of pride.”

Wynne's mar­ket­ing plan is to auc­tion the items through live online video. Not only would this al­low peo­ple to pay the price they want, but it would also alert busi­nesses to what’s on of­fer. Wynne will an­nounce the dates of th­ese auc­tions.

Photo: Michael Wynne

Ban­gles and neck­laces made by Ma­sivuke crafters and soon to be on sale.

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