Turning Trash into Treasure – Magpie upcycle workshop with Vermaaklikheid youth

Jul 1, 2024 | General News

By Marinda van As

Vermaaklikheid is a small, rural village established close to the Duiwenhoks River mouth. It is located 40km from Riversdale and is only accessible by gravel road. This hidden gem is somewhat of a forgotten place. A ramble along the peaceful sandy track between the river and the village takes you past shuttered cottages and farmhouses with rows of rusty implements lining saggy fences in overgrown gardens. Notably, some of these houses display architectural features that are unique to the village and the nearby seaside; there are some charming, off the beaten track accommodation options and Josies General Store.

Since our team started engaging with the Duivenhoks Conservancy from an ecological corridor’s perspective, and our Environmental Awareness Programme Manager, Marinda van As, visited their public library; Brakfontein Primary School and Tiny Treasures crèche; the GCBR has become invested in this small rural community.

The children from this settlement have especially crept into Marinda’s heart. She became determined to do whatever possible to help make a difference in their lives. Once Marinda learned that the library and members of the Duivenhoks Conservancy have a holiday programme for the children of Vermaaklikheid she knew that GCBR must get involved to assist in providing an enriching experience for the kids.

GCBR has collaborated with the amazing creatives behind The Magpie Art Collective for two previous upcycle art workshops. These events were extremely informative, fun, creative and empowering – a tremendous way to learn about a solution to plastic pollution and how to turn trash into treasure.

Marinda engaged Scott and Tielman from Magpie to run an upcycle workshop for Vermaaklikheid teenagers. Before long, this creative duo was travelling down scenic dirt roads to bring their vibrant passion for art, the planet and people to this quiet village.  

The attendees thoroughly enjoyed a three-day workshop where they got to think out of the box as they were taught how to upcycle with bottles, lids and yoghurt containers. They drew, painted and cut; turning plastic waste into beautiful flowers. The teens embraced this creative learning opportunity with both hands.

Teaching young people that you can create something of value out of waste, especially young people who live in an area with very little opportunity, is quite remarkable. We truly appreciate the collaborative partnerships with the Magpie Art Collective, the library and Duivenhoks Conservancy that made this impactful workshop possible.

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