We previously featured G-Lish and their work in Ghana here . 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.
As we are promoting cooperative style organisation as part of our highlighting of the UN Year of the Cooperative (see our Global Mamas feature) we wanted to recognise this company again for their work in Ghana.
For new readers, here is a little about G-lish and the basket/bag/mat/pot producing process.
Most Ghanaians do not have access to clean drinking water other than in “pure water” plastic sachets. As such, water sachet rubbish is a massive problem in Ghana. Millions of sachets are discarded daily and end up polluting rivers and soil since there are virtually no rubbish collection services.
G-lish turned problem into opportunity with recycled baskets when they married the urgent need for income generation in rural communities with the skills of traditional Bolga basket weavers and a need to re-use waste plastic sachets and scrap cloth.
Each product uses 250-300 pure water plastic bags, and about 1/2 kg of scrap fabric. One basket takes 5 full days to produce and is made by the hands of at least 5 different producers—a truly community effort:
1 person cuts the waste plastic water bags into strips,
1 person twists the plastic water bags into twine,
1 person cuts the scrap cloth, another person twists the scrap cloth into twine.
The final step: a skilled basket maker weaves the plastic and cloth twine using traditional basket making techniques for which Bolga, in Ghana, is world-famous.
We are especially proud of G-lish who won an award sponsored by the UNEP and SEED Init in 2010 for its unique, creative and sustainable processes.
As of February 2012, G-lish has consumed over 120,000 pure water plastic bags in production.
Find them on Facebook at G-lish Foundation and Twitter @glishfoundation.
Author: Jacqueline Shaw