Two years ago in the vibrant rural community of Rheenendal, on the edge of the magnificent Knysna Forest, The 7 Passes Swop Shop was born. At that time it was one of about ten similar such projects around South Africa. Each one slightly different, adapted to it’s location. Yet all founded on the same, basic concept: kids in marginalised communities collect recycling and redeem it for much needed goods and essentials. Great ideas are always remarkable in their simplicity.
7 Passes has seen over 600 people come through its doors, bringing with them an average of almost 1,5 tons of recycling every month. In a community of 4000, of which over 50% of the adult population are unemployed, this small project that operates for only a few hours, once a week, is having a direct influence on the social well-being of many households as well as a quantifiable reduction in municipal waste. And at the same time instilling an environmental awareness in kids from a young age.
Highlights over the last couple years have included the inaugural Toys 4 Joy Christmas Toy Drive, in which over 120 kids were treated to a morning of games, music and snacks, before being allowed to go into the shop and choose for themselves a brightly wrapped Christmas pressie. All of which were generously donated by people from Cape Town, PE, Joburg and Knysna.
During World Environmental Week, 14 kids were treated to a day outing to the Pledge Square Nature Reserve, where they were educated on various local flora and fauna, before being let loose on a madcap information treasure hunt. The indigenous bird-life had no chance against the screams of chaos and delight!
Every day that the shop is open creates moments of pleasure: boys and girls arriving with wheelbarrows overladen with bulging recycling bags and heading home with toys, stationary, a new pair of shoes or even a tent! Men and women who survive on government grants able to choose blankets, boots and baby clothes. The project would not have survived were it not for the ongoing charitable kindness and assistance of numerous individuals, businesses and organisations such as Rotary.
And now, in order to continue having the impact it does, 7 Passes needs your financial support to accomplish the following:
- Repair broken windows and shop door.
- Refurbish the shop interior with proper shelving and cupboards.
- Beautify the exterior with water-wise plants.
- Pay weekly stipends to Swop Shop staff, who are from the community.
- Fence off the containers to prevent further vandalism.
- Hire transport to take the kids on outings.
- Purchase stock when donations run low.
- Initiate a weekly ‘7 Passes Arts Club‘.
- Initiate a ‘Garden Club’ to maintain a food garden at the school.
We therefore ask, for those who are willing and able, to donate a a regular monthly amount of R25. Or for those who prefer, a once-off contribution of whatever is financially possible. Every little bit helps and is wholeheartedly appreciated.
The 7 Passes Swop Shop is a project of Seven Keys, a registered charity organisation. (NPO 100/954)
Account Name: Seven Keys
Bank: Standard Bank
Account No.: 082 581 525
Branch Code: 05 03 14
Please use the reference: ‘Swop Shop Fund’
Check out our Facebook page – ‘7 Passes Swop Shop‘ for regular updates and feel free to forward this email on to as many people as you can.