Eco trading store that aims to restore independence dignity in Diepsloot


    # Actionagainstpoverty was the theme for the 2019 Mandela Day, as the Wot-if? Trust team at the Father Louis Blondel Centre and e-Hub Diepsloot, were launching their Eco Trade Store (where the community can effectively exchange #ecobricks for donated goods.) What is an ecobricks one might ask? Ecobricks is a plastic bottle packed tightly with clean and dry, non-biodegradable waste. These bottles can then be used as building materials to create insulative structures and colorful furniture

    The idea for an Eco Trading Store, came about when the Wot-if? Trust realized that, when working in a community like Diepsloot, providing business support is not enough. Often people call saying they have no food. How can they build thriving businesses when their most basic needs are not met?

    The Wot-if? Trust realized that, by giving people money for food, they do not truly empower them. In fact, they risk creating dependencies and a sense of entitlement. They then had to come up with a better solution, which is the Eco Trade Store

    As the Wot-if? Trust team we believe that an Eco Trading Store could provide a solution that is empowering and creates a culture of social responsibility among our participants. They “do something to get something”, rather than getting handouts, while at the same time uplifting their community.

    How it will work

    The store will operate out of a container on the premises of FLBC & eHUB. Participants can bring in Eco bricks they’ve made in exchange for social currency. They’ll be able to use this currency to buy food, toiletries, data, and other items in the store. We’ll also accept seeds and seedlings, which we’ll sell in the store as well as use to grow vegetables that will be sold in the store.

    The benefits of this model are twofold:

    • It will enable participants to provide for themselves in a dignified way, by earning social currency
    • It will encourage recycling/upcycling and the cleaning up of litter

    By creating an alternative means for people to provide for themselves, while positively impacting the environment, the long-term results of this initiative will impact the sustainable goals of Zero Hunger (SDG2), Reduced Inequalities (SDG10), Life on Land (SDG15) and Life below Water (SDG14).


    If there is anyone who will like to get involved please refer to the wishlist below:


    • Toys for children of any age
    • Various winter and summer Clothing/shoes for boys, girls, ladies and gents (casual and formal will be gladly accepted)
    • Stationery (pens, colour pencils, wax crayons, scientific calculators, calculators, rulers, pencils, flip files, filing sleeves)
    • Reading or activity books
    • Blankets
    • Sporting goods – soccer balls, netballs, volley balls, soccer togs

    For more information about the Eco Trade Store, simply go to the Father Louis Blondel Centre in Ext 10 Diepsloot