They were the ones who stood at the robot, begging for money, food or attention...
Now they are the artists behind a brilliant new gift range, and it’s brought to you by esSAy gifts – a Proudly South African gifting company – in partnership with iwasshot, a label that was established to provide former street children in South Africa with an opportunity to generate an income for themselves.
All the children who contribute artwork towards the gifting range received photography training through the Studio Bernard Viljoen Foundation, a Non-Profit Organisation that was established in 2010. The children are also involved in the manufacturing of the gifts, which gives them another opportunity to learn new skills.
Since the Foundation’s inception, 45 former street children have benefitted from the project. Thirty of them reside at Twilight Centre, a shelter for street children in Johannesburg, while 15 are part of Mamelani Projects in Cape Town.
A shadowed image taken by one of the children is the inspiration for the first gift range by iwasshot, but friendly faces on the streets of Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as the official flag are on display. The range includes photo frames, key rings, fridge magnets, notebooks, coffee mugs, serviettes, pillowcases, coasters and placemats, and uniquely labelled packaging is used for each product