Co founded by Godwin Yidana and Gayle Pescud G-lish Foundation is an organisation in Ghana which focuses on 3 core areas – ‘Income Generation, Re-Generation, Next Generation.’ They produce baskets from recycled materials such as plastic and cloth scraps using traditional Bolgatanga weaving technique as well as shoulder bags. This helps to promote sustainable development in impoverished rural communities as well as creates a culture of environmental conservation through activities such as tree replanting which combats climate change.
They retail some baskets in Sydney Australia at the following stores: Tali Gallery in Rozelle, Sydney, Tiny Bird, Double Bay, Sydney, and Grok, in Neutral Bay, Sydney. In Ghana they retail product at Trashy Bags in Accra.
Product made under G-lish is produced with many aims in mind:
- in order to create income,
- preserve traditional skills and the environment by paying fair prices to labour
- offer direct market access
- develop business skills
- implementing environmentally friendly practices
- empowering the weavers.
Socially G-lish offers a fair and sustainable income for women and youth, education in business skills, development of a health insurance scheme and then environmentally their initiative helps to impact by reducing waste and to also promote plastic recycling by processing recycled materials.
Their economic impact is found to effect and benefit marginalized, rural families through income generation through the initiative. They put their money where their mouth is for example in 2011 plans to secure export and local partners, sell between 100-500 baskets per month, pay 50-100 basket makers and production workers, plant 100-500 trees per month and more all work together with their vision for G-Lish. They do need all support they can find and always source and encourage new partners to help fund business development for these scaling-up activities and plans which includes the opening of their own G-Lish store in Ghana.
They are now in partnership with the Desert Growth Foundation. This is a micro-finance NGO established in 2007 in Bolgatanga, which will provide money management training for the project participants. As well as this they have support from eco-friendly recycled plastic bag and gift, Ghana based company Trashy Bags, a retailer for baskets in Accra. They get great access to the expat and tourist market through Trashy Bags (also featured in ‘Fashion Africa’ book).
G-Lish are now taking things up a notch and will be launch their volunteer in Ghana programme starting December 2011 and are seeking those who are interested in volunteering in Ghana with G-Lish. As well as roles such as writers, teachers, nurses, doctors, etc they also are seeking creatives – photographers, designers, artists, and more of all nationalities and ages!
They believe that
no matter what age, gender, nationality or level of experience you have, you can make a difference. And, no matter what skills and experience you bring to the table, the single best asset in volunteers is a positive attitude!
You will be staying in both Accra, the capital of Ghana, and in Bolgatanga, the capital of the Upper East Region, and will work in the community, especially with the basket producers themselves and their families, their budding fair trade program, or with the tree planters on their core projects, as well as closely with the organisation’s office staff.
Find them on Facebook at G-lish Foundation and Twitter @glishfoundation.