Published: 26 June 2014
By:Inge Altona de Klerk
The children of the Masakhane community in Gansbaai know that if it’s Tuesday, it is Swop Shop Day!
The Recycle Swop Shop in Masakhane is a White Shark Projects initiative which started six years ago in an effort to engage & educate the community on the importance of recycling. The children collect recyclable litter, plastic, glass, cans etc and bring it to the Swop Shop where they are rewarded with points and a cup of warm soup. They spend the points in the shop where they can buy anything from school stationery or toys to clothes or soap. All the merchandise in the Swop Shop is donated by White Shark Projects and members of the public from near and far, even as far away as Norway. It teaches the children to respect and to take responsibility for their environment, it instills a sense of pride & it empowers the children by teaching them to be self-reliant.
However, Tuesday the 10th of June was slightly different than any other given Tuesday. Thanks to the Twitter Blanket Drive Africa, White Shark Projects was able to hand out much needed blankets to the children who queued in the cold. The Twitter Blanket Drive was founded by Melanie Minnaar and in 2012 over 13000 blankets were collected and donated to needy charities country wide. The beneficiaries are all Non-Profit Organizations registered with the Department of Social Development.
Gill O’Sullivan took it as a heart-warming challenge to organize the collection of blankets for the Recycle Swop Shop. She offered her fabulous establishment, Nourish Café in Eastcliff Village, as a drop-off point. White Shark Projects would like to extend a sharky thank you to all the benevolent folks who kindly donated these blankets. And judging by all the delighted, smiling faces of the children hugging their blankets yesterday, the children of Masakhane thank you too.
Inge Altona-de Klerk