The Handmade Revolution

As the world continues to embrace technology with vigour, and we are in danger of losing our individuality to mass production, it is little wonder that so many of us are thinking of ways in which to turn the tide by recycling, repurposing, buying handmade goods and making crafts rather than simply making money.
It’s almost as if we are on a quest, a search for what is real. We are trying to reconnect with ourselves and with others.
It is somewhat ironic that it is technology, specifically the internet, that is helping to drive the craft revolution.
Thanks to the internet, everyone with a personal computer can learn a multitude of crafting skills.
Handmade and the touch of the hand are about nurture, nourishment, application, patience and care.
In the light of the global recession with all its negative spin-offs, handcraft gives us a sense of security and control in uncertain times.
The so-called “handmade movement” is about saving the world, and giving to others & to yourself by doing something for no reason other than it makes you happy.
it is under-pinned by an awareness of the need to nurture the environment through recycling and reusing, and by taking cognisance of the exploitation that is inherent in mass production.
However there is no getting away from the “gorgeous” factor, the delight to be found in modern nostalgia and how deeply satisfying it is to get to grips with an old-fashioned craft.
Handmade is the mother tongue giving rise to a new African design language.
There is no longer any connection between producer and consumer and the handmade movement is to build a new economy and present a better choice: buy, sell and live handmade.
The ascendancy of chain-store culture and global manufacturing has left people all dressing, furnishing and decorating alike.
The handmade movement featured strongly in trend forecasts worldwide for 2011, while on the local front craft is not only cool, it represents an enormous source of income.
According to the department of trade and industry, some R2 billion of SA’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) comes from the craft sub-sector.
They estimate that crafts could contribute R5 billion to the country’s GDP and support some 20 000 new jobs by 2015 if the sector receives sufficient support.
The latest trend overseas is handmade shopping and swapping parties – get-togethers where you can sell handmade products or swap your creative handiwork with that of your friends.

People prefer handmade because they want something unique. Handmade speaks to people. Having something in your home that is unique enhances your individuality.
Making something with your own hands is soul satisfying and creativity takes us away from every day life.
Handmade is not just about craft, but craftivity – a movement where creativity is used to change the world.
One of our missions is not only to create jobs, but also to celebrate the individual who made the product. This is the opposite of nameless, faceless mass production.
Swing tags bearing the makers name on it are par for the course. Handmade captures a tiny bit of the person who made it. Many craft artists work from hand to mouth.
Their talent is a way of bringing food to the family table as well as a way to express their creative talent. To make something is about the soul and is a way of explaining yourself to the world
Handcrafts are therapeutic and meditative and buying a unique article is a way of setting yourself apart instead of drowning in a sea of sameness. Our local crafts are a link to our culture, diversity and history rather than to an impersonal world. The recession has contributed to a shift in consciousness towards a more valued, honest life and people are realizing afresh there is more to life than making money.

So join the handmade revolution and help us bring creativity and craft back to it’s rightful place in this world. Help us regain our uniqueness as individuals and return to the delight by buying handmade articles from your local craft stores and markets. Let’s work together to create jobs and increase our country’s GDP through the art of crafts.


SUKUMA PROJECT – Empowering young girls & women to discover their full potential

Sukuma Project was started in order to uplift and empower girls & women in townships to become self employed and entrepreneurial. The ultimate goal is to free them from the constraints of poverty and unemployment.
SUKUMA will provide non-formal education, giving girls & women opportunities to develop self-esteem, confidence & life skills. Our dream is to build a better world for them through advocacy & action.
* EMPOWERMENT entails a process whereby girls & women will gain more control over their lives, become active members of their communities and are enabled to make informed choices about issues that directly affect them.
* EMPOWERMENT entails addressing the barriers that prevent them from developing their full potential. Discrimination against women can be based on class, race, ethnicity & age. Barriers include unequal power relations, limited opportunities for education, inadequate access to health care and services, cultural biases and poor economic conditions.
* EMPOWERMENT will involve focusing on gender equality and meeting the needs of the poorest of people.
* EMPOWERMENT will seek to uplift and improve general living conditions of women in townships.

SUKUMA PROJECT will focus primarily on providing employment opportunities through the production process of various marketable products. Woman will be taught basic sewing in order to be employable or self employed to participate in projects such as the following:
* Executive Scarves for Corporates in SA
* Fashion scarves for retail
* Community Candle Production
* Gift Candles for retail
* Scented Candles for retail
* Community Soap Production
* Gift Soaps for retail

God’s Girls is a church project working in the community near Compass Point church which seeks to empower & equip young girls to discover their full potential by:
* Providing a safe environment in which girls can cultivate their own set of values and grow in confidence
* Support girls and create space to foster positive, close relationships with mentors & peers
* Teach soft skills to increase employment chances
* Teach skills such as sewing, candle making, soap making, greeting card making, event planning & baking
* Assist the girls to find bursaries & scholarships for teritiary studies
* Encourage the girls to get involved in IT, science, maths, sports, & technology.
* Develop the leadership gifts within the girls in the group & provide ongoing leadership training
* Work hard to encourage them to stay in school and plan for tertiary studying

Finally we will strive to enable young girls & women to discover their potential through non-formal educations based on 4 pillars of lifelong learning:
LEARN TO KNOW – Broad general knowledge
LEARN TO DO – Acquire some occupational skills alongside life skills including inter personal and team relationships
LEARN TO LIVE TOGETHER – Develop an understanding of other people & appreciation of interdependence, skills in team work and conflict resolution, cultivating a deep respect for one another.
LEARN TO BE – Develop character, judgement & personal responsibility.

SUKUMA PROJECT – Women empowerment, upliftment & development!