This project was born during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in South Africa. Due to the preventative measures that were implemented to assist in our country’s attempt to control the virus and protect our population, many industries were massively affected and unable to operate.
Tourism was one of the sectors that took a hard hit, and as a result, many people lost their jobs. In the rural communities surrounding us, where most lodge staff call home, one person’s income could be supporting up to four other people, at times, even more.
We identified a need in these communities for people to be able to provide for their families without having to rely on a permanent job. We realized the value of being able to create items that could be sold to feed your family. As we delved deeper into exploring this potential, we also realized the massive gap of knowledge in the communities on how to run a small business of this kind, as well as a lack of access to the right opportunities to sell their products. We started to discuss the endless possibilities that could be achieved through training, opportunity and mentorship.
After many discussions, visits to artists workshops and creative spaces, meetings with retail outlets and other NPO’s in the area, The Kulani Collective was born.