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The Emakhazeni Development Trust

In Mpumalanga, the Emakhazeni Development Trust was formed to initiate and manage poverty relief projects in this area with the main beneficiaries being women, youth and the disable. For years the Trust has worked with the private sector to fast track economic development in the region and increase community-based programmes to absorb the unemployed.

One of the projects created and run by the Trust in Dullstroom is The African Home Decor Centre (better known as The Old Corner Shoppe) which provides a space for local suppliers to sell their handmade items at the prices they set.

After being donated a number of sewing machines and overlockers, Estelle Oberholzer (the Centre's manager) got the idea in 2009 to employ more women to convert billboard canvases into products for visitors to the area as well as the local community and approached Xuma Media with the idea.

The initial creations included shopping bags which are not only practical because of their durability but each one also has a unique look. Other enterprising ideas for the recycled billboard canvases include fishing bags (Dullstroom is well known for its trout), aprons, covers for outdoor furniture and art canvases.

The products come with a label advertising the African Home Decor Centre and on request an additional label can promote the advertiser that sponsored the billboard with a recycling slogan (eg "I used to be a Xuma billboard")

Members of the Emakhazeni Development Trust make regular trips to Johannesburg and have access to a one ton truck which can manage the transportion of canvases from Johannesburg to Dullstroom. They have been a pleasure to work with in the last year and any banner donations to this worthy cause will be greatly appreciated by the owner, Estelle Oberholzer, and the disadvantaged community she works with.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the Emakhazeni Development Trust or if you have billboards banners which could be donated.

Creative sewing with recycled billboard canvases at The Corner Shoppe

"Without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay."
[Benjamin Disraeli]


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