The 7 Passes Swop Shop 2.0

Dear Friends,

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.
World Enviro Week
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)
Bank details:
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.
environment recycling

Recycling Toys


Please take a moment to read the following. It is for a project that we are involved in, here on the edge of the beautiful Knysna forest. Feel free to pass it on to as many people as you know and are able.

Thank you!


The 7 Passes Swop Shop is based in the impoverished rural community of Rheenendal, Knysna. It has been operating since September 2011 and has been responsible for recycling over 14 tons of waste. Toys For Joy is their latest, exciting project. We have almost 50 kids who visit the Swop Shop on a weekly basis. This Xmas we’d like to be able to offer them the opportunity to spoil themselves with an abundance of toys. In order to do this, we need your help. So, from forgotten favourites at the backs of cupboards, to cellophane-wrapped, store-bought surprises. From soccer balls to stuffed bears, Barbie dolls to Batmen, we ask that this year, you donate a toy or two and give a child a smile for Xmas.

With love and thanks,

For more information about the 7 Passes Swop Shop, Toys For Joy or details as to where, what and how you can donate, please feel free to contact:

Knysna: Gareth – 082 696 7882,
Cape Town: Samantha – 082 350 3945,
7 Passes Swop Shop is a Seven Keys initiative.
Seven Keys (NPO 100/954).
Unlocking Potential, Creating Change

environment recycling sustainability

A Cleaner, Greener Forest

The mention of the Knysna forest conjures up images of elephants and natural beauty. Nestled on the edges of this green wonderland is Rheenendal: farms, smallholdings, B&Bs and a relatively impoverished community. And it is within this community that something wonderful is happening.

In September 2011, the 7 PASSES SWOP SHOP opened its doors. How the project works is that kids between 3 and 18 collect recyclable materials from their homes and the neighbourhood, seperate them into supplied bags and bring them every Wednesday afternoon to the shop located on the fields of the local school. With the glorious vista of the Outeniqua mountains and the forest in the background they get to weigh the bags, are awarded tokens per kilogram and are then able to redeem the tokens for much needed goods. For many of these kids, its the first time they’ve been able to go into a shop and choose something for themselves, something they’ve always wanted – a teddy bear, pencil crayons, shoes, bags or blankets. The expression on their faces is pure delight!

The Swop Shop concept was started in 2002, in Hermanus by Marilyn van der Velden and has since spread to a number of other centres around the Western and Eastern Cape.The simple beauty of the project is that the kids have to put in the effort to get what they desire. There are no free hand-outs. They’re enriching themselves and cleaning their community. These are the latest figures of what the Rheenendal kids have thus far collected:

• GLASS = 8375kg • PAPER = 1871kg • TIN = 511kg • PLASTIC = 1056kg

That’s almost 12 TONNES of recycling!

An ongoing supply of the following is essential to the continued and growing success of the project:

• Clothing • Blankets • Shoes • Toys • Stationary • Toiletries

The 7 PASSES SWOP SHOP is the flagship project of SEVEN KEYS (NPO 100/954), an organisation focussed on the social upliftment of the rural and forest communities of the greater Knysna area. For more information on how you can get involved, please contact: Eunice: 079 328 3835 Gareth: 082 696 7882 Email: Facebook: 7 Passes Swop Shop

Every little bit helps and is deeply appreciated. One person’s waste is another child’s treasure.