A few weeks ago I bought a cute little hand-made doll named a Shwe-Shwe Poppi. The Shwe Shwe Poppis Co-operative Project is a community-based doll production project in Soweto which provides beneficiaries with skills and a sustainable income. The dolls are adapted from drawings made by kids at the Zola crèche in Soweto, one of the biggest townships here in South Africa and are sold locally through accredited dealers and internationally throughout the EU and the US. After the child's doll is sold, (s)he receives a royalty payment for the ‘design'. A trust account is opened with these funds and the children can pay for school and university fees. The project started as a small, informal charity-based project which could not expand due to market failures that hindered the business accessing finance to expand production capacity. ComMark's involvement in addressing this failure has allowed the business to flourish.
The one I bought is in the first picture on the left, although it is a bit different. Each one is unique and mine is made by a little girl named Philisiwe. The poppi (doll) is based on her drawing. She loves to play buddy with her friends. Her favorite food is rice and chicken and yellow is her best color! This is written on the tag and bag you get with the doll.
It is such a cute fair trade gift!!
Here are some of the dolls the children draw and the mother's and grandmother's sew together, it is really a hand-made product and made from Shwe Shwe fabric, the South African fabric, hence the name: Shwe-Shwe poppi.
Here you see the ladies making them just on a kitchen table and the other picture is the label that is on each bag that comes with the doll or poppi as they say here in Africa. Of course on each doll is a different picture.
Since I have so many fabrics in my sewing room I am thinking of doing a similar project with local kids and mother's here as well. I am already researching who to do it with. More about this project and other ideas I have later!
Have a great day y'all!