Scene 3: Sharing Ideas and Findings

Tuesday, October 28th
After having some time to rest and relax during the weekend, the energy team is filled up with energy again! During the weekend, we summarized the notes and ideas from the previous days. Although we have only started our work for two days, we have made plenty of progress. The meeting with our sponsor will be held in the Office of Sustainable Livelihoods’s (OSL) building located on Long Street, which is a famous attraction in Cape Town. We are very excited to visit the office and ready to share our ideas.
Cast of Characters
Cindy is one of our sponsors. She gave us a brief tour of the building. Unfortunately, Jacques was unavailable so we had the meeting with Cindy alone. After the meeting, she introduced us to some of the OSL’s staff.
The meeting took place in the OSL’s office building. It is in the center of Cape Town on Long Street and is 12 stories tall. The picture below shows Cindy, Jing, Tati, and Rachel on the rooftop garden, where we had our discussion. One of the walls has water flowing through potted flowers. There is a solar powered pump moving the water back to the top, allowing the water to be reused in a sustainable manner. This can be shown in the picture below. The materials and plants used in the garden are all either donated or recycled.


Cindy, Jing, Tati, and Rachel


Alex in the Rooftop Garden

We began the day with a group meeting at the lodge. This was used to prepare for our afternoon meeting with the OSL. An agenda was created that covered a summary of past meetings, distribution locations, the OSL’s relationship with Peter Sharples (the local Wonderbag distributor), and future meetings. Neither Jacques nor Cindy were able to attend our Friday meetings, so we wanted to update them on our project. We also wanted to discuss our list of distribution locations and methods ideas. The OSL’s relationship with Peter was not made clear to us, so we felt it was important to clarify this during the meeting so we could move forward. Finally, we wanted to discuss our plans with Cindy and Jacques and get their input.

The meeting began with Cindy showing us the rooftop garden and pointing out various parts of the city. Our first talking point was distribution locations. We all agreed that the best place to distribute the Wonderbags was crèches. Cindy also supported selling the bags at churches, especially the ZCC Church, as they are a very large organization. Shebeens are not a good place to sell Wonderbgas, as they are bars and do not have the customer base we are targeting. Cindy explained that Peter was the only distributor capable of selling Wonderbags in the quantity required by the OSL. Everyone thought the meeting in Khayelitsha would be highly beneficial, and Cindy arranged for Sydney, an employee of the OSL, to drive and accompany us into the informal settlement. After the rooftop meeting, Cindy showed us to the OSL’s offices and introduced us to three full time employees and their intern. She then provided us with a Wonderbag for us to use.
Reflection and Learning
Overall the meeting was a success; we completed all of our objectives and received positive feedback from Cindy. The most important lesson we learned was that the OSL is not interested in profits and plans to stop providing Wonderbags after the distribution system has been established. Also Cindy’s support of our distribution methods was reassuring as it showed we were on the right track.

From the discussion with Cindy, we now have some clear direction as to where we want our project to go. Within the next week, we plan to cook with the Wonderbag she provided so we know how to use it and can speak from experience when we are trying to get others interested in the Wonderbag. We also want to go to the Early Childhood Development forum in Khayelitsha to explain the Wonderbags to the women so they can be interested in the product and start creating a demand for them. This forum is a group of roughly 45 creche leaders who meet on a semi regular basis. Hopefully this will also get women excited about our project as well. We have reached out to Solomon to help us find two crèche leaders from his class whom he believes fit our criteria of a distributer. This way we can work with the two women and build a distribution network that would fit in with their crèches. Our goal is to have two women interested in working with us by the end of the week so we can visit their crèches’ next week to get a better understanding of how they work.

Scene 4: Cooking with the Wonderbag