Scene 1: Pilot Program

Friday, November 21st

During the prior visit to Gege’s Crèche, the Energy Team spoke with Lungiswa, the principal, about beginning a Pilot Program. Although she showed interest in the program, she did not commit to a date when we could return. Max told us not worry as he would arrange another visit, so we continued to prepare the Entrepreneurial Packet to present. The packet includes two brochures, an advertisement, a sales log, a contract, a Pilot Program log, and five initial Wonderbags. As promised, Max planned another visit with us to Gege’s Crèche to explain the distribution business and begin the Pilot Program.

Cast of Characters

Lungiswa is the principal of Gege’s Crèche.

Max, our co-researcher, works for the City of Cape Town and has been assisting us with our project. He lives and volunteers in Langa and has worked with Lungiswa in the past.


Gege’s Crèche is a small, informal crèche located a little bit off the main road in Langa. There are about 40 children and six teachers. Outside the crèche there is a small playground and a garden built along the wall of one of the buildings. The crèche grows onions and other small plants.


The Energy Team and Max were invited into the meeting room where we were joined by Lungiswa and another woman who works at the crèche. The meeting began by us explaining the Pilot Program in detail. Both crèche leaders had several questions about the Wonderbags and the program. They were curious about what kinds of food could be cooked with Wonderbags, so we gave them the recipe book and shared our cooking stories using Wonderbags. After we introduced the second Wonderbag brochure, Lungiswa asked if we had brought any bags with us as five community members had already asked to purchase them. Max went back to the car to get the Wonderbags we brought, while Jing and Tati continued to explain the Entrepreneurial Packet.


Tati explaining the Entrepreneurial Packet to Lungiswa

Max returned with the Wonderbags which were all vacuumed sealed. To demonstrate, Rachel took one out and returned the bag to its full form by loosening the foam. While this was being done, the women read through the recipe book provided with each Wonderbag. Both women were impressed with all of the recipes and the detail provided by the small pamphlet. An issue arose when we discussed the Wonderbag sales log, as it did not include a column to record the bag’s serial number which allows for a one year warranty. Alex added this column in as Tati described the advertisements. Lungiswa did not want the crèche’s address and phone number on the advertisement, this was fortunate as we had come prepared with five flyers which did not include location details. Alex asked if they had the space for all of the bags to be opened, and Lungiswa said they did; Alex, Rachel, and Max each opened one of the remaining Wonderbags and restored it to full size. After going over all parts of the Entrepreneurial packet, Tati asked if they had any questions for us, before they started selling the Wonderbags. Lungiswa said that she was excited to start selling them and that she understood the process. The Energy Team expressed our thanks and took a picture with the crèche leaders, as shown below, to end the day.


The Energy Team with Lungiswa

Reflection and Learning

This was a great day for the Energy Team, as we were able to begin our Pilot Program at a crèche. The women’s interest was very reassuring. Also, Max informed us that the second woman in attendance was in charge of the crèche’s finances and that seeing her at the meeting was a sign that Lungiswa was serious about starting this business. Furthermore, Lungiswa said that five community members had already asked for Wonderbags, which showed even more promise that Gege’s Crèche would work as a distribution center.

Today was also exciting as we were able to utilize our Entrepreneurial Packet and see how well it worked with explaining the concepts of the distribution business. We successfully depicted all aspects of the business model with minimal words as she understood what we were asking from her and the specifics of the Pilot Program.

The team did not have Lungiswa sign the Pilot Program Contract; this was due in part to the fact that Max has not been able to look it over and give us feedback. The more significant reason for the team not pushing the Contract during this meeting was because we felt the interest and attention was dwindling. Therefore, we decided to not only present this document as a later date, but also to reevaluate how we present the documents in the future. We want the process of explaining the Pilot Program to be quick and concise so the crèche leaders are not overwhelmed.

Scene 2: A Second Pilot Program