Kopanang community project – 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 2015
To assist the community to improve sales and thus income through more effective products, packaging and marketing.
To work with their design team to improve their understanding of design to become more self-sufficient.
HOW WE HELPED
Our group’s main objective was to do research and come up with new ideas of product for our clients to sell online. By doing this, a number of things had to be considered, such as:
Do our clients have the skills to make the product?
Would our clients target market be interested in buying this product?
Is the size of the product easy to courier?
Is making the product going to be cost effective?
Considering the time, it takes to make the product, would it be worthwhile selling?
WHAT WE DID
Products 1 – Glasses Case
This product would be ideal, considering that it appeals to their target market, in fact, it appeals everybody above the age of 12 years and to all genders. The cost of making this product is very cheap, allowing the community to make a generous amount of profit when selling it. The skills needed to make the product, are skills that most the Kopanang ladies have, there for the construction of the product does not rely one person, making It easier for the community as a whole. The used method of the ‘opening’ and ‘closing’ of the glasses case, makes the case more unique than other ordinary glasses cases.
Products 2 – Necklace
We introduced a unique method of making necklaces to the community, using embroidery techniques. When doing further research, we concluded that it would not be a practical product to sell because there is only one person who has the skills to make the product, it would take a lot of time to make the product, so considering time and money, it would not work. After discussing our concerns with the community, they ask us to translate all our embroidered designs into bead work. Seeing that we, personally did not have he skills o make a prototype, we used a unique method of making the prototype in order for the clients to see what it would look like and to help them understand what materials would be used