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Sustainable design: beadwork from South Africa

What we’ve been up to!

The Danish design duo Eva & Claudi is now selling beadwork from the local NGO Philani, situated in Khayelitsha – one of the many poor urban areas on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa.

The beadwork is made by local women, and when you buy it you support them and their families and help Philani continue their great work for the community.

As an extra plus, the profit from the sale in Denmark will help us continue our own work.

A peak into Eva & Claudi’s LookBook 2013
Eva & Claudi, lookBook 2013
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Philani – Development starts with people
Philani was established in the ‘illegal’ squatter community of Crossroads (in Khayelitsha) in 1979 on the initiative of Swedish doctor Ingrid le Roux and community health workers. They realised how important it was to provide basic child health and nutrition services to a community ignored and neglected by the health authorities of the Apartheid government.
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Although Philani started out as a child health and nutrition project, the organization soon realized that the health and nutrition problems local communities faced had underlying socio-economic causes due to lack of development opportunities for men and women during and after Apartheid. Development starts with people and apartheid left millions of women and men in South Africa without an opportunity to access formal education and training.
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This has been the incentive to start the skills training programme which trains women in weaving, silk-screen printing, beading, linoleum printing and fresco painting in five Nutrition Centres and at the Philani Development Centre in Site C, Khayelitsha.
The women participating in these training programmes are mothers enrolled on Philani’s Outreach and Nutrition Programmes, women referred from community organisations, and mothers with social problems and children at risk.
Looking into the weaving station at Philani
The shop were the women can sell their crafts
Shop, Philani
When you buy  the beadwork form Eva & Claudi, you support the program. Most of the money that Eva & Claudi pays for the beadwork goes to the women and their families themselves, while another part goes to Philani as an organisation to help them continue their work. Another smaller part (the surplus from the sale in Denmark) goes to NDA.
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NDA’s role in all of this
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We have been helping Eva & Claudi to find the right organisation to support.
In spring, 2013, I visited different projects in Khayelitsha together with my friend Lindelwa.
I have known her since my student days, where I used to do research in Khayelitsha. Lindelwa and her family are from the rural parts of the Eastern Cape, but moved to the Western Cape years ago, searching for work and easier access to health care in the urban areas.
She lives in Khayelitsha with her husband, two sons, her sister and her sisters new-born baby girl.
Since Lindelwa knows the in and outs of Khayelitsha and by word of mouth, she knows which organisations are doing a great job.
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Ronika from Philani looking at Eva & Claudi’s catalogue with Lindelwa (left)
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