2012 – Abraham Kriel Project

The community:

Abraham Kriel Childcare (AKC) is a registered Not-for-Profit organisation providing childcare in the greater Johannesburg and East Rand in Gauteng. Their passion is to ensure the optimal development of traumatised children in need of care. AKC provides both residential care and community services, providing shelter, care and rehabilitation for children between the ages of birth and 18 years old who have been subjected to trauma, abuse, molestation, poverty and neglect.

The design problem:

The Abraham Kriel management were organizing a 100 year birthday celebration. The brief to GDC was to design several elements for the celebration, as well as their year-end function, in keeping with the spirit of helping teenagers express their emotions in a positive and constructive way.

The design solution:

GDC students work on the following designs, and also spent time interacting with the children and playing educational games with them.

  • For the birthday event: Centre pieces, banner and piñata
  • For the year-end function: Centre pieces, placemats, invitations, posters and programmes
  • A board game that was both entertaining, and educational in that it provided guidance on how to cope with a variety of common struggles.

  What lecturers said about the project:

The students really came down to earth & most gave 100% of themselves to interact with the children on their level. They really embraced the situation and I could see how it really touched the students. I think that this really is an important experience for the students to keep them in touch with reality and the real life issues of this world/country. Most students also realised how fortunate they are, and that is always a humbling experience.  Students also learned that it is not always as easy as it looks to work with kids, especially teenagers, as they have their own way of thinking and doing things.  In the end though all worked out well, and very positive relationships was established between GDC’s students and the children of Abraham Kriel Kinderhuis

The students also created very interesting design solutions, as the brief was rather challenging.  With a bit more time on our hands to allocate to this project, all the projects would have been even more successful, especially the board game, as the group involved with the development of the board game realised that yet again something ‘simple’ as a board game is not so simple and easy to develop as it might seem, although the end product was still impressive given the time limitations of the project.