Kopanang community project is a project that has been running since 2001, to uplift the lives of women on the fringes of society. This is done through offering emotional support and a caring community, an opportunity to earn a basic living through the making embroidered products. Most of the women live in shacks, around Tsakane, a township far from any town or job opportunities, have little formal education, and are affected or infected by HIV/AIDS.
The project is currently undertaking an intensive formation and training initiative, with the aim of the project becoming managed and run by the women.
The aims and focus of the project
This year we will focus on 3 areas, using your design skills to assist the community.
Redesign the website and the design of all marketing material.
Re-look at the physical space of the project.
create new or streamlined products.
HOW WE HELPED
Most of the women in the project live in shacks and have access to water through a shared tap, yet manage to wash even in the middle of winter. A funder has made funds available to provide a shower that the women will be able to use at the project. A decision was taken to upgrade the caretakers shower room which is accessible to the project space. This group need to detail the refurbishment of the shower room as well as the supply of hot water from solar geysers, the reuse of the grey water for flushing toilets and watering the vegetable garden, as well as a kitchenette unit in the work area and a covered entrance outside the main door to the building.
The ladies at Kopanang where found that some of them were not all using the shower room facilities, because it was not that effective. Seeing as the shower head was none functional, the ladies that did use the shower room, were using the bucket system to bath. So a need was recognized and we came in to solve the need. We were to provide not only a revamped shower room but provide a more comfortable way for the women to move around and for an eco-friendlier shower room.
Other needs that were to be catered for, were things such as:
A Kitchenette Area
The ladies where found to have been walking to different angles and corners of the building to get their kitchen works done. The sink was in a different position to the hot water, the hot water was in different place to the microwave…etc. So we were to give them a design that holds it all together in one place.
An Entrance Canopy
The ladies let us know that, there is an issue with the rain water seeping into their working space when it rains. The entrance had no cover, and needed one to stop the rain from hitting directly onto the door.
WHAT WE DID
What’s required in the new space:
• Standalone kitchen
• A working area split up into three zones:
• Storage for materials and sewing equipment
• Storage for filing equipment
• Outdoor meeting /communal area
• Double Lockable Carport and Garage
WHAT WE DID
• We used as much of the the existing building as possible - cost effective and minimises waste
• Recycled/Reused materials – wood, glass, steel
• Local economy: local material is used – cheaper, support local companies
• Grey water usage – save water and costs (used for irrigation and toilet flushing)
• A lot of windows/skylight – light saver, saves electricity, natural heating
• Sustainably which includes environmental factors